“We are the defending champions, so our image and reputation must be maintained. The fans love this tournament, and with the V.League 1 and V.League 2 schedule changes, it will allow Vietnam to send its best players,” said Tuan.

Changing the schedules and format for the V.League 1 and V.League 2 after the COVID-19 pandemic is a calculated decision to help the national team prepare for successfully defending the AFF Cup and reaching the third qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup.

The VFF said these were two important goals for Vietnamese football in 2020 and both must be considered equally important. Korean coach Park Hang-seo and his team will be busy selecting their best squad for the tournament.

The Asian Football Confederation is planning to play the remaining three matches of the second qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup in one place rather than two if COVID-19 is not under control.

Currently, Vietnam are top of Group G in World Cup qualification with 11 points after five matches.

The team will visit Malaysia in October and a win over the team in second will help coach Park‘s contingent reach the final stage of the Asian qualifiers.

The following matches will be against Indonesia at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi and the UAE away, both in November.