Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Vietnam's new season will start in March 2007

Vietnam’s next football season will begin in March instead of the usual December or January as the national team will be competing in the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship until late February, after which the national under-23 team must play in the qualifiers for the Beijing Olympics. The Vietnam Football Federation has scheduled 10 February 2007 for the Super Cup match between V-League champions Dong Tam Long An Tiles and National Cup winners Hoa Phat Ha Noi. The V-League and First Division will begin their seasons on 4 March.

Because the competition period will be shorter than in previous seasons, the clubs will have to play three matches a week in the second stage so that both divisions can finish in late September. For this reason, the VFF has allowed each of the 14 V-League clubs to sign up a maximum of 30 players instead of the 25 last season. Up to five of the players can be foreigners, but only three can be on the field of play at the same time. The 14 first-division clubs, however, can sign up only three foreign players, and only two of them can play at the same time. In the National Cup, each club can likewise register three foreign players, and all three can play together.

The VFF says it has prepared the match schedules for the V-League, National Cup and First Division but will not announce the timetables until the Asian Football Confederation publishes the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup schedules.

According to Vietnam Bridge, Hoang Anh Gia Lai, who were the V-League champions from 2002 to 2004 and came fourth in the last season, plan to spend November training in London. Club boss Doan Nguyen Duc has just returned from visiting London-based English Premier League clubs Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

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