Việt Nam have chance for World Cup qualification after FIFA confirmed extra places. — Photo of VFF
HÀ NỘI — The world football governing body FIFA on Thursday confirmed allocation of slots for the Women’s World Cup.
Earlier this year, FIFA decided to expand the quadrennial tournament from 24 to 32 participants at the 2023 event in Australia and New Zealand.
The Asian Football Confederation will have six direct slots, one more than at the previous event. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) will have four each. The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) will take three. It is one for the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and 11 for the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
The two host countries, Australia and New Zealand, will automatically qualify for the competition, with their slots having been taken directly from their confederation’s quota.
The three remaining slots will be decided through a 10-team play-off tournament with AFC having two teams participating.
The increase in the number of World Cup participants is considered a better chance for Việt Nam to enjoy their first time ever at the biggest tournament for women.
Australia have already won the first of six direct slots. Việt Nam as the continental No 5 and world No 34 would vie for the remaining five along with leading teams such as Japan, China and South Korea as well as Thailand and Chinese Taipei.
“FIFA’s decision to increase the number of World Cup teams gives an opportunity for not only Việt Nam but also other Asian squads,” said head coach Mai Đức Chung.
“However, it is a good news. My players will have to work harder for the best result in all coming tournaments,” he said.
The national team will have a one-month training camp next month in preparation for 2021 fixtures including the ASEAN championship, the 31st SEA Games and the Asian championship qualification.
In the 2019 France World Cup, Asian representatives were Australia, Japan, China, South Korea and Thailand.
Việt Nam were close to winning World Cup slots in both 2015 and 2019 competitions but failed in the playoff matches.
The 2023 World Cup will be held between July 10 and August 20. — VNS