Kyrgyz Republic replace Iraq as opponents for Vietnam in international friendly match

Kyrgyz Vietnam

Vietnam will face Kyrgyz Republic in an international friendly football match on March 26 after previous opponents Iraq had withdrawn due to coronavirus concerns.

The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) was originally to host the Iraq national team in the friendly fixture in Vietnam on March 26, a few days before the Golden Dragons faced Malaysia in a crucial 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers second round tie.

The VFF was forced to cancel the fixture after the Iraq Football Association (IFA) raised concerns regarding travelling to Southeast Asia amidst the COVID-19 outbreak that has wreaked havoc across the globe.

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However, they have now found a replacement for Iraq with the Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic (FFKR) agreeing to travel to the ASEAN nation to play the match on the same date at either Binh Duong or Ho Chi Minh City.

“Immediately after the friendly against Iraq was canceled, VFF took intiaitves to find a new opponent to help Vietnam prepare best for World Cup Qualifiers tie against Malaysia,” the VFF said. 

“And this afternoon (February 19), the FFKR sent a reply agreeing to send their national team to play a friendly match with Vietnam on March 26,” it added. 

Kyrgyzstan are currently ranked 96th in the FIFA World Rankings and are second in Group F of 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers second round behind Japan and ahead of Tajikistan, Myanmar and Mongolia.