Vietnam cancels V-League 2021 as covid spread accelerates

August 25 – The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) has officially cancelled its 2021 club season after a vote – held virtually – by its 27 professional clubs.

The decision was taken after it became clear that the acceleration of the covid pandemic in the country had made fulfilling fixtures to complete a full season too complicated.

Initially clubs had been reluctant to cancel the season, afraid of the financial consequence of not being able to play, but eventually they said they were left with no other option.

The season for the VFF’s V-League 1, V-League 2 and the National Cup was suspended on May 7 after some players of the Song Lam Nghe An club came into indirect contact with a Covid-19 case. The league had originally planned to return in July but that was put back.

One suggestion had been to return to the schedule in February 2022, however it was decided instead to void the season and not count the results. It was felt that gave clubs a better chance of minimising their losses and planning for the next season.

After 12 games of the 14-team V-League 1 season, Hoang Anh Gia Lai were leading the championship by three points ahead of six times champions Viettel. Both clubs had apparently agreed to ending the season early.

The country of 98 million people has up until the current surge of the virus managed its public health effectively. There have been about 360,000 cases of the virus and a relatively low total death figure of about 9,000. However, the surge is bringing a different look to the figures with 10418 new cases reported yesterday and 348 deaths.

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