Details of Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo’s newly-signed contract emerge

vietnam park

Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo finally signed on the dotted lines of a much-awaited new contract with the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) on Tuesday.

The contract of the South Korean tactician, who has done wonders in Vietnamese football since signing as their head coach in 2017, was set to expire on January 2020, but the VFF has now sealed his services for three more years by offering him a much-improved deal.

Though financial details of the contract have been undisclosed, it is learnt that Park will earn a much bigger salary than the monthly earning of US$ 20,000 from the previous contract.

Nguyen Tien Linh seals Vietnam victory over Indonesia with a cool finish

However, with improved financial gains come even greater expectations from the former Korea Republic international.

According to reports, under the new contract, VFF expects Park to carry the Golden Dragons to the final of all the Southeast Asian tournaments the nation will take part in the next three years.

This includes the Southeast Asian Games 2019 which will be competed by the Vietnam U-23 national team and the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 with the senior national team who will be the defending champions at the ASEAN event.

Vietnam U-23s will also take part in the 2020 AFC U23 Championship in Thailand in January 2020 while the senior team is also expected to qualify for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in China PR.

THAILAND 0 – 0 VIETNAM: Spurned chances & mutual respect

Park has so far lead the Vietnam U-23s to the final of the 2018 AFC U23 Championship and the semifinals of men’s football in the 2018 Asian Games.

He also took the seniors to their second AFF Suzuki Cup triumph in 2018 and then reached the quarterfinals of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year.

(Photo courtesy: VFF)

Former Indonesia head coach expresses interest to return in place of Simon McMenemy – Reports

Nguyen Tien Linh seals Vietnam victory over Indonesia with a cool finish

Simon McMenemy’s future as Indonesia national team head coach hangs in the balance after his side suffered their fourth successive defeat in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday.

Scottish tactician McMenemy, appointed on December 2018, has seen his side lose to Malaysia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam as the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers second round reached its halfway point.

And the Indonesian supporters and football authorities seem to have lost their patience in the former Philippines head coach following their latest 3-1 defeat to Vietnam at the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Bali on the fourth matchday of the qualification campaign.

Interestingly, reports from Indonesia suggest a former Tim Garuda head coach has expressed his interest in returning to the national team if the position becomes vacant.

That coach is none other former Barcelona and Real Madrid defensive midfielder Luis Milla who served as the team’s head coach during 2017 and 2018.

Milla had taken over from Alfred Riedl and guided the team to a bronze medal finish in the men’s football competition at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games. However, his contract was terminated on October 2018 by PSSI.

But, that hasn’t stopped the Spaniard’s name from being linked with the Timnas job. are reporting that the former Spain international will be willing to return to work in Indonesia.

“I heard from a trusted source concerned that he would negotiate his salary if he was asked to train the Indonesian national team again, because he had fallen in love with Indonesia,” the country’s Youth and Sports Ministry spokesperson Gatot S Dewa Broto was quoted as saying by

Indonesia U-22s to face China, Jordan and Saudi Arabia in international tournament

Indonesia U-22

The Indonesia U-22 national team will travel to China PR to take part in the Three Gorges Bank Cup International Football 2019 which will feature four national teams.

The team, coached by Indra Sjafri, will take part in the tournament being held in Chongqing that will help the Indonesians in their preparations for the 30th Southeast Asian Games which will begin in Philippines next month.

2017 SEA Games bronze medallists will take part in the four-nation tournament that will also feature the teams of hosts China, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Garuda Muda will face Saudi Arabia in the opening match of the tournament on October 9 before facing the Chinese on October 11. Their last opponent will be Jordan who they will face two days later on October 13.

AFF U22 Championship 2019 winners Indonesia are in Pot 2 for the 2019 SEA Games group stage draw which is scheduled to be held on October 15.

Hosts Philippines and 2017 champions Thailand are in Pot 1 while 2017 runners-up Malaysia and Garuda Muda are in Pot 2. Myanmar and Vietnam make up Pot 3 while Pot 4 features Singapore, Laos, Brunei Darussalam, Timor-Leste and Cambodia.

The men’s football competition in the SEA Games is to be held from November 26 to December 10 and will feature 11 Southeast Asian nations competing for the gold medal.

Indonesia’s Three Gorges Bank Cup International Football 2019 fixtures

October 9, 2019 – Saudi Arabia vs Indonesia

October 11, 2019 – China PR vs Indonesia

October 13, 2019 – Jordan vs Indonesia

Reigning champions Thailand want friendly against Vietnam or UAE ahead of 2019 SEA Games

Thailand SEA GAmes

2017 Southeast Asian Games men’s football champions Thailand want to face Vietnam or United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a friendly match ahead of the 2019 SEA Games. 

Senior national team head coach Akira Nishino will also be in charge of the U-23 side who will take part in the SEA Games to be held in Philippines from November 26 to December 10 as well as the 2020 AFC U23 Championship to be hosted by Thailand in January next year.

But, they are yet to schedule a friendly match with another national team in the build up to the SEA Games and are currently on the lookout for possible opponents for matches on October 11 and 14.

“We want some friendly games with other countries on October 11 and October 14 before the SEA Games starts. We have contacted other countries, including the UAE and Vietnam, and are waiting for confirmation,” Thailand U-22 assistant coach Issara Sritaro was quoted as saying by the Voice of Vietnam.

However, with Vietnam and UAE already scheduled to face each other in a friendly at the Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City on October 13, it looks unlikely that either of the sides will be willing to play Thailand so close to the scheduled game.

“If both of them refuse, we will approach some local clubs,” Sritaro said.

Nishino’s side are in Pot 1 along with hosts Philippines for the 2019 SEA Games men’s football competition draw which has now been rescheduled from October 3 to October 15.

Thailand had defeated hosts Malaysia 1-0 in the 2017 SEA Games final held at the Shah Alam Stadium to win their 16th gold medal in men’s football at the Southeast Asian multi-sport event.

Singapore striker Khairul Amri announces retirement from international football

Khairul Amri Singapore

34-year-old Singapore striker Khairul Amri has announced on social media that he is retiring from international football.

The veteran forward has 132 international caps for Singapore and is the only player to score in three different finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup scoring for the Lions in the 2004, 2007 and 2014 finals of the Southeast Asian championship.

Amri, who currently plays for FELDA United in Malaysia, was called up to Tatsuma Yoshida’s national team squad for 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers ties in September, but had decided to withdraw from the team “due to personal reasons.”


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As a young boy, I always dream to play for the National Football Team. Watching the likes of the veterans playing, I want to feel how is it like to score in front of the Kallang crowd. I had the chance when I made my debut in 2004 under Coach Raddy something that I couldn’t forget for the rest of my life… It was only few years back when I achieved my 100 caps and Captain the National Team on that night in Doha. I have given my soul everytime I take on the pitch for our National Team. Every sweat that drops is for our Lions. I am blessed to have the support of my family and fellow team mates whom I have played over the years. Just like me, they gives their all to the nation. Special thanks to the FAS management, the Coaches – Raddy, Bernd, Sundram, Fandi, Nazri Nasir And Tatsuma, the Team Managers – Eugene, Visakan, Farehan And Eric, the backroom staff – Hwee Koon,Kak Fizah, Abang Nas, Banzi,Jeff Tam,Faizul And Cik Omar and to all those whom we had crossed path in my National football career. After 15years and 132caps…now is the time for me to pass the scoring boots to our young players as I seek to spend more time with my family and focus on my club Football. Thank You Singapore, Thank You Fans! Do continue your support for our Lions ! MAJULAH! – Khairul Amri #A19

A post shared by Khairul Amri (@khairulamri19) on

“After 15 years and 132 caps, now is the time for me to pass the scoring boots to our young players as I seek to spend more time with my family and focus on my club football,” Amri wrote on his Instagram.

“Thank You Singapore, Thank You Fans! Do continue your support for our Lions! MAJULAH!,” he wrote.

“As a young boy, I always dreamt to play for the National Football Team. Watching the likes of the veterans playing, I wanted to feel how is it like to score in front of the Kallang crowd,” the veteran forward wrote.

“I had the chance when I made my debut in 2004 under Coach Raddy [Avramovic] something that I couldn’t forget for the rest of my life… It was only few years back when I achieved my 100 caps and Captain the National Team on that night in Doha,” Amri said.

AFC Cup 2019: Tampines Rovers 3-2 Yangon United (Khairul Amri 77′)

“I have given my soul everytime I take on the pitch for our National Team. Every sweat that drops is for our Lions,” he added.

Amri won three AFF Championship titles with Singapore — in 2004, 2007 and 2012 — and also finished third in the 2007 Southeast Asian Games.

Cambodia’s Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium to be renovated to meet FIFA standards

AFF U-22 Championship 2019: Sath Rosib’s long-range effort gives Cambodia a 1-0 win over Malaysia

The National Olympic Stadium in Cambodia’s Phnom Penh is set to undergo a major renovation which will help the venue meet the standards set by FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). 

The Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium has a capacity of 50,000 and currently hosts Cambodia national team’s international football matches, including their 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, as well as domestic and continental matches at club level.

However, with Cambodia set to host the 2023 Southeast Asian Games, the authorities are looking to redevelop the arena to meet FIFA and AFC requirements.

One of the major challenges the stadium face is the lack of seating on most of the stands.

“Cambodia must meet regulations to ensure safety and promote the image of Cambodia abroad,” Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) secretary-general Keo Sareth was quoted as saying by the official website of ASEAN Football Federation (AFF).

He also believes that the football governing bodies could deny Cambodia the right to host their international matches at the venue in the future if redevelopment does not take place.

“If there is no renovation from 2020, FIFA and AFC will not allow Cambodia to sell tickets or take part in official tournaments organised by them. Without proper seating for fans, FIFA and the AFC do not allow tickets to be sold for spectators,” Sareth said.

FFC are reportedly preparing a proposal that they will submit to the country’s Ministry of Economy and Finance to renovate the seating and lighting at the venue.

The Olympic Stadium was opened in 1964 and was designed by architect Vann Molyvann. Since 2015, the venue has been equipped with an artificial turf.

(Photo courtesy: Khmer Scholar)

Indonesia U-23 national team set up friendly match against Asian giants IR Iran in November

Indonesia Iran

Indonesia U-23 national team are scheduled to play IR Iran, one of the strongest footballing nations in Asia, in a friendly match to be held in November this year.

The match will be part of Garuda Muda’s preparations for the men’s football competition in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games which is to be held in Philippines from November 30 to December 11.

“We have lined up the friendly against the Iran U-23 as part of the team’s preparation, just two weeks before they leave for the Philippines,” Ratu Tisha Destria, the general secretary of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) announced recently.

The PSSI general secretary also revealed that the association is looking to find more opponents for the U-23 national team to play against during the months of September and October.

“We are looking for teams to play against during the months of September and October. We are waiting for the final programme submission from head coach Indra Sjafri on the proposed training camp,” she said.

“Iran would be the hardest opponent for the team, so we will arrange proper matches as a lead up to the big test,” Tisha added.

Indonesia are the AFF U-22 Championship 2019 winners having defeated Thailand 2-1 in the final held at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium in Cambodia in February earlier this year.

Hosts Philippines to attend Singapore’s Merlion Cup as they prepare for 2019 Southeast Asian Games


2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games hosts Philippines will send their U-22 national team to take part in the Merlion Cup which will be held in Singapore in June.

The Merlion Cup began as an annual invitation football tournament in 1982 and was held every year till 1986. However, only two editions of the tournament has been held since — in 1992 and 2009.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Kyrgyz Republic 3-1 Philippines (Schrock 80′)

The Philippines Football Federation (PFF) president Nonong Araneta confirmed the participation of the Azkals juniors in the tournament as they prepare for the men’s football competition in the 2019 SEA Games that they will host from November 30 to December 11.

“We’re joining the Merlion Cup for the U2-2 and we can always do the (training) camp in Qatar in preparation for the SEA Games,” said Araneta via ASEAN Football Federation’s official website.

Philippines are in Pot 1 for the draw for the men’s football along with 2017 winners Thailand. The date of the draw is yet to be announced.

(Photo courtesy: Football Federation of Cambodia)

Victory for Vietnam as 2019 Southeast Asian Games seedings revised; Golden Dragons in Pot 3 in new ranking

Vietnam SEA GAmes

The organising committee of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games have been forced to revise the seedings of the men’s football competition following an official complaint from Vietnam who felt they were unfairly placed among the lower-ranked teams. 

Vietnam were earlier placed in Pot 4 for the draw for the men’s football competition along with Laos, Brunei, Timor-Leste and Cambodia despite putting up a better showing in the 2017 SEA Games than Singapore who were in Pot 3.

The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) via Vietnam Olympic Committee had sent an official complaint to the 2019 SEA Games officials pointing out this inconsistency and had demanded a higher ranking for their men’s national team at the Games.

VFF wanted to know how their national team, who had collected 10 points in Group B of the 2017 Games, were placed below Singapore who had collected only six points in Group A.

But, it looks like the SEA Games have accepted their mistake and have revised the seeding to give Vietnam a fair ranking at the 2019 Games.

The VFF said that the SEA Games committee decided to correct the technical issues related to classification of the team’s in the men’s football competition and will include Vietnam in Pot 3 alongside Myanmar while Singapore will now drop down to the lowest-ranked pot.

The draw for the men’s football competition will be held later. The 2019 SEA Games will be held in Philippines from November 30 to December 11.

So, this is how the Pots for the 2019 SEA Games Men’s Football looks like right now:

Pot 1 – Philippines (Host), Thailand (2017 Champions)

Pot 2 – Malaysia (2017 Runners-up), Indonesia (2017 Bronze winners)

Pot 3 – Myanmar (2017 Fourth place), Vietnam (Third in Group B with 10 points)

Pot 4 – Singapore (Third in Group A with six points), Laos (Fourth in Group A), Brunei (Fifth in Group A), Timor-Leste (Fifth in Group B), Cambodia (Sixth in Group B) 


Unhappy Vietnam file complaint after they are seeded in the lowest pot in 2019 Southeast Asian Games football


The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) have lodged a complaint after their national team were seeded in the lowest ranked pot for the men’s football competition in the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. 

The Organising Committee of the SEA Games had announced the seedings for the men’s football tournament in March with Vietnam placed in the lowest ranked Pot 4 alongside Laos, Cambodia, Brunei and Timor-Leste.

Hosts Philippines and last edition’s champions Thailand are the top-seeded teams in the competition and are placed in Pot 1. Pot 2 meanwhile features 2017 runners-up Malaysia and bronze-medal winners Indonesia.

Myanmar, who lost to Indonesia in the bronze medal match, is in Pot 3 along with Singapore who were knocked out in the group stages. And this where the VFF points out the problem is.

According to VNExpress, VFF wants to know how their national team, who had collected 10 points in Group B of the 2017 SEA Games, are placed below Singapore who had collected only six points in Group A.

Myanmar also had lower points (nine) than Vietnam, but progressed to the semifinals as Group A runners-up.

The UNSUNG HEROES of Vietnam’s AFC Asian Cup 2019 journey

“We have sent a communication to the Vietnam Olympic Committee (VOC) and asked them to file this request with the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF),” a VFF official was quoted as saying by VnExpress. The officials said that Philippines could have made a mistake and “there’s chance that Vietnam will be ranked again.”

The VOC, meanwhile, said it has forwarded the demand and the AFF are scheduled to discuss it at a meeting on April 22.

The 2019 SEA Games will be hosted by the Philippines from November 30 to December 11 later this year.


Head coach Park Hang-seo reveals Vietnam national football team’s secret to success

Vietnam’s TOP THREE performers against Jordan

Vietnam have enjoyed unprecedented success in international football ever since South Korean tactician Park Hang-seo took charge as the head coach of their national team in 2017.

They have reached the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship final in China, semifinals of the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia and quarterfinalists in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 held in UAE earlier this year while also winning the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018.

And Park was asked what the secret behind the Golden Dragons’ success at the international stage was, during an interview with the AFC’s official website recently.

“I would say the success is the result of the Vietnamese strengths which are solidarity, pride, smartness and fighting spirit. Everybody works not individually but as one team. As the head coach, I have been trying to build confidence and trust in the team,” the 60-year-old said during the interaction.

Park termed Vietnam’s brilliant run in multiple competitions as a miracle. “They were all big events for us and to me, it was a miracle year. I think everyone in the team did a really good job in their respective positions. Now we are looking forward because we have a lot of challenges ahead,” he said.

However, the former Korea Republic international knows there is no time to rest on the laurels as Vietnam prepare for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games later this year.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Jordan 1-1 Vietnam – Nguyen Cong Phuong (51′)

“We have to prepare for two very important tournaments at the same time. While I will manage both teams as the head coach, the coaching staff will be different. For the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, the key players will be from the AFF Cup and Asian Cup. We all already know each other so we will able to prepare efficiently,” he said.

“For the SEA Games, we have not won the title in the last 60 years. It won’t be an easy task for us as we will have to play every two days, so it is very important that all players play the same quality of football,” Park added.


Reports: Philippines might lose 2019 SEA games hosting rights, Indonesia and Thailand next in line

The Philippines might lose their rights of hosting the Southeast Asian Games 2019, according to reports. The reasons being put forth for the same is the lack of funding and unrest among the officials.

The Daily Tribune report that the Southeast Asian Games Federation Council is closely monitoring Philippines’ situation and might arrive on a decision shortly. It is believed that Indonesia and Thailand are ready to take up the opportunity to host the 30th SEA games if offered.

“The only thing they are asking is that if ever we’re going to withdraw, let’s do it as soon as possible so it won’t be unfair to whoever will replace us,” a Daily Tribune source told them.

“They are not happy, of course. First, we calendared 56 sports with a lot of new sports that didn’t even become demonstration sports. Then, there are reports about the lack of fund and squabble among sports officials, particularly in the POC (Philippine Olympic Committee).”

Earlier Brunei had given away the opportunity to host the games but that happened back in 2015. Philippines now only have a little over eight months left as the SEA Games are set to start on 30th November this year.

“But Brunei backed out in 2015, or four years before the opening ceremony,” the Daily Tribune source added. “In our case, we only have eight months left. I’m not sure what will happen.”

New Clark City site nearing completion for 30th Southeast Asian Games

The 30th Southeast Asian Games will be held in the Philippines from November 30 to December 11 and preparations are now underway.

Four designated hubs will hosts events with Manila, Clark, Subic and BLT (Batangas, La Union and Tagaytay) all currently preparing to host nearly 10,000 athletes from 11 nations participating.

With that, a photo has emerged on the construction for the Clark site as the stadium is named New Clark City.

Expected to be completed in June, the photo sees the stadium already seemingly in the later stages of completion – with the pillars and roofing already installed.

In the middle, the pitch may look still unfinished but with a few months left, that could be done later on.

Located in Capas, Tarlack the land size is at 50 hectares and will also be used for the ASEAN Para Games in 2020.

Photo courtesy of PhilStar

Myanmar appoint Velizar Popov for 2019 SEA Games

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Bulgarian coach Velizar Popov has been handed the reins of the Myanmar Under-22 team for this year’s 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Manila.

Still only 42 but with plenty of managerial experience under his belt already, Popov’s appointment was announced by Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) on Wednesday evening.

The Bulgarian – a UEFA Pro Licence holder – is no stranger to the region, having had spells in Thailand with Suphanburi and Sisaket as well as in Malaysia with Kelantan.

In fact, Popov has coached solely in Asia since 2012 with stints in Oman and Maldives as well, the latter of which involving being in charge of the national team in 2015.

Myanmar are widely regarded as an emerging force in Southeast Asia but have seen their progress stagnate recently, highlighted by their group-stage exit at the last year’s AFF Suzuki Cup following a semi-final appearance in 2016.

The Under-23s also finished runners-up at the 2015 SEA Games, which was followed by a fourth-place finish two years later – when the tournament was converted to an Under-22 competition.

There is certainly no shortage of outstanding talent for Popov to work with, although inconsistency and indiscipline are often recognised as two factors preventing Myanmar from reaching the level of regional powerhouses Thailand and Vietnam.

But, with six players from the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 squad eligible for this year’s SEA Games – Phone Thit Sar Min, Sann Sat Naing, Soe Moe Kyaw, Ye Yint Aung, Htet Phyo Wai and Lwin Moe Aung – Popov will definitely have some youngsters with valuable experience to build his side around, along with fellow bright prospects Myat Kaung Khant and Hein Phyo Win.

Photo credit: Myanmar Football Federation