V.League 1 season may resume in mid-March

VOV.VN - The 2021 V.League 1 season may see matches return in mid-March providing that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is brought under control across the country.

This is the agreement that the league’s organisers, the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and the Vietnam Professional Football JSC (VPF), came to in a meeting held on February 19 in Hanoi.

Moving forward, the break between matches will be shortened, as opposed to five or six days of rest as in the past teams will instead be given three to four days break, similar to the situation in the 2020 season.

The change in the V.League 1 schedule is largely due to the fixtures of the Vietnamese national team as they compete in qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, three Vietnamese football clubs playing in Asian Football Confederation (AFC) tournaments, and the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

The senior team plans to gather together on May 22 before taking part in three matches as part of World Cup qualifiers until June 15.

National team footballers will be put into isolation upon returning home, meaning that the domestic league must be paused from May 15 to June 30.

The VPF expects the first stage of the V.League 1 to conclude in July, with its second stage set to conclude on September 19.

The rest of the year will allow both the senior nation team and the U22s to prepare for World Cup qualifiers, the ASEAN Football Confederation (AFF) Cup, and the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

The VPF have also unveiled new regulations relating to the organisation of the V.League 1. Indeed, all grounds must now be thoroughly disinfected, each match will only have six ball boys, with staff being equipped with medical gloves and encouraged to frequently use hand sanitizer.

Referees and officers must also maintain a one-metre distance from players while officiating games, whilst players won’t be allowed to shake hands, supporters won’t be able to attend games, or personally interact with the players.

Furthermore, players are requested to wear face masks when possible and limit contact during matches.

With regard to fans, organisers have three plans in place, including playing matches behind closed doors, games with a limited number of supporters, and fixtures which allow fans to attend as normal.

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