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Việt Nam ready for Iraqi challenge at Doha Cup




Vietnamese players training for the 2023 Doha Cup in Qatar. Việt Nam will play Iraq on March 22. Photos courtesy of the VFF

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s U23 team, along with their coach Phillipe Troussier, are gearing up for the Doha Cup, a friendly tournament serving as a warm-up ahead of the 32nd SEA Games.

With high expectations from national supporters and coach Troussier alike, Việt Nam are hoping for some impressive wins.

“Players will gain invaluable experience through matches, making the Doha event incredibly important,” said Troussier, who has been in charge of the team for almost a month. “It will serve as a strong foundation for the team at the SEA Games.”

This will be Troussier’s debut tournament with Việt Nam, and he is hoping his players won’t be too hard on themselves if they make mistakes. His aim is for them to learn from their errors and never repeat them.

Ten teams are set to participate in the U23 Doha Cup, with each team facing off against two others in the first round. The organisers will determine the match-ups for the second round based on the results.

Việt Nam are scheduled to play Iraq and the UAE on March 22nd and 26th, respectively, in the late evening, as the games fall within the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting, prayer, reflection and community.

With such a high-stakes tournament and a challenging schedule, Vietnam’s U23 team and their fans eagerly await the excitement ahead.

French Phillipe Troussier will have his first tournament as head coach of the U23 Việt Nam at the Doha Cup from March 22-29. — Photo courtesy of the VFF

To prepare for the late evening matches in the Doha Cup, coach Troussier had his players train during the same hours as the competition, from 10pm to midnight.

“When we are on the field, it is 2am in Việt Nam time,” said goalkeeper Quan Văn Chuẩn. “It is difficult to avoid jetlag. However, our team staff and assistants are doing a good job, helping us to adjust to the new time zone.

“We are doing well with the training time and catching the pace of the coaches’ plans. My team and I are ready for the tournament. We will do the best for the highest results,”

Iraqi coach Radi Shenaishel said his biggest problems were that players do not have enough training together and the Ramadan holiday.

During the holy time, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking during the daytime, usually from dawn until dusk.

Of his 25-player squad, Shenaishel has called several who are playing in Europe, such as Evert Baram (Nuremberg, Germany), Mustafa Omran (U19 Atalanta, Italy), Hani Noseir (Trelleborg, Sweden) and Manuel Iylia (U21 Twente, Netherlands).

These players could only join the rest of the team on March 20 and had only two days of training together.

After Việt Nam, Iraq will play South Korea on March 26. 

However, Shenaishel is not put much weight on the cup. He said it was an opportunity for him to test players’ quality.

Even though a poor result would make his team receive criticism, Doha Cup is just a warm-up for larger events such as the West Asian U23 Championship and the 2024 Paris Olympic qualification.

The tournament will be live broadcast on FPT Play’s multi-platforms. VNS



Vietnam wraps up Asian volleyball championship in 4th place



Vietnam ranked fourth at the 2023 Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship after losing 2-3 to Japan in the third-place playoff in Thailand on Wednesday afternoon.

Japan faced a tough challenge from Vietnam throughout the match.

The Vietnamese players gave the back-to-back champions a score chase in the opening set before claiming a surprising 25-21 win.

Japan bounced back to show its dominance and take a commanding 25-14 win in the second set.

In the third set, though Vietnam initially maintained a 4-4 and 6-6 tie, Japan seized control at 10-7 and eventually made a comeback to secure a 25-22 victory.

In the fourth set, Vietnam managed to turn things around in one of the most emotionally charged moments of the match. 

Starting with a 4-8 deficit, the Vietnamese side rallied to score five consecutive points, taking a 9-8 lead and eventually securing the set with a score of 25-20. 

This dramatic 2-2 equalizer forced the match into a decisive fifth set.

Vietnamese players compete during their third-place playoff against Japan at the 2023 Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship in Thailand, September 6, 2023. Photo: SSM

Vietnamese players compete during their third-place playoff against Japan at the 2023 Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship in Thailand, September 6, 2023. Photo: SSM

Vietnam entered the fifth set with confidence, yet Japan promptly took an 8-5 lead. 

The Vietnamese players, however, showed resilience, making a determined effort to narrow the score to 10-12. 

But during the critical moments, Japan remained composed and clinched victory with a score of 15-11.

As a result of this defeat, Vietnam placed fourth in the overall rankings, their best-ever finish at the Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship.

Vietnam’s previous most notable achievement was a fifth-place finish in both 2015 and 2017.

Host Thailand claimed their third Asian title with a remarkable unbeaten record after winning the five-set thriller against China in the final match on the same day.

The top three teams — Thailand, China, and Japan — earned a spot in the 2025 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship.

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Military-run Viettel offers free live broadcast of 2024 Euro qualifiers in Vietnam



TV360, the over-the-top (OTT) media service provided by military-run Viettel Telecom and the official rights holder of the 2024 UEFA Euro qualifiers, will provide free live coverage on its network in Vietnam.

The company announced the offer on Wednesday, instructing viewers to utilize its TV360 website and app.

All matches are accessible for free by simply logging into TV360 users’ accounts.

The tournament copyright holder said that TV360 can be streamed without interruptions on various devices such as Smart TVs, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and TV360 receivers.

The 2024 UEFA Euro qualifying tournament is being played from March 2023 to March 2024 to determine the 23 member men’s national teams in the Union of European Football Associations that will join the automatically-qualified hosts Germany in the finals, scheduled to take place from June 14 to July 14, 2024.

A total of 53 UEFA member associations were divided into ten groups, with seven groups of five and three groups of six.

The qualifying group stage is being played in a home-and-away, round-robin format on double matchdays in March, June, September, October, and November this year.

The winners and runners-up from the ten groups will qualify directly for the finals.

Following the qualifying group stage, the remaining three teams will be decided through the playoffs, to be held in March 2024. 

Four rounds of qualifiers took place in March and June, with powerhouses like England, France, and Portugal holding the top positions.

Spain, another heavyweight, currently hold the fourth position out of five teams in Group A after one win and one draw. 

The upcoming qualifying matches later this month present Spain with a chance to enhance their performance.

The fifth and sixth rounds of the Euro qualifying stage are scheduled for Thursday to September 13.

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Vietnam Football Federation to cooperate with LaLiga to train coaches, players



The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with LaLiga, Spain’s top men’s professional football division, on Wednesday morning to collaborate on training coaches and players in a Spanish style until 2026.

Both football bodies have entered into a deal to share their knowledge in order to enhance the growth of professional and community football in Vietnam. 

Furthermore, they will undertake initiatives related to national teams and various sports training projects.

In the near term, LaLiga Academy Vietnam, established in late 2021, will conduct training sessions for VFF coaches and youth football development units.

Football experts assessed that the cooperation holds significant importance for the advancement of Vietnamese football, particularly in the context of the VFF’s efforts to strengthen relationships with established football entities in Asia and Europe.

During the signing ceremony in Hanoi, Ivan Codina, LaLiga’s Southeast Asia-Australia, Japan & South Korea managing director, stated that Vietnam holds a strategic position in Asia for LaLiga, which takes pride in the opportunity to collaborate and grow together with Vietnamese football. 

Codina pledged that LaLiga Academy Vietnam will provide support and apply Spanish coaching methods to Vietnamese coach training programs. 

In addition, they have plans to facilitate the development of young Vietnamese football talents through initiatives like training them in Spain and other cooperative programs.

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