Hanoi (VNA) – After nearly a decade of hiatus, the Vietnam Volleyball Federation has allowed new foreign players to be evaluated in the national championships. Each club can now recruit two.
The 2022 National Volleyball Championships are held from July 3 to July 17 in the northern provinces of Ninh Binh and Vinh Phuc with some changes. For the first time, the organizing committee is using the video assistance to refereeing called “Eye Challenge Video”. This technology is similar to VAR in football. It has been successfully used during the 31areSoutheast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) played last May in Vietnam.
According to the Vietnamese Federation of volleyball (VFV), the 2022 edition takes place in one round including the group phase and the final phase instead of two as before. This allows provincial and national teams to be able to focus on SEA Games 31 and 9are National Games. In addition, a unique round stimulates competition between the participating teams as they must aim for victory in each match, without making calculations between the 1uh and the 2eround. With these changes, the organizers want to raise the level of national volleyball.
There are 22 teams competing this season, two more than the previous year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 edition ended without any team being relegated.
This year, the men’s and women’s teams are divided into two groups of five and two of six respectively. The top four from each group will compete to determine the champions. The fifth and sixth-placed teams from each group will compete to keep their place for the 2023 season. Two teams will have to say goodbye to League A.
In addition to the change of format, after having sought the opinion of experts as well as supporters, the VFV validated the authorization for the clubs to recruit two foreign players. But the latter do not have the right to play at the same time on the field.
In reality, foreigners were allowed to be assessed in the national championships before 2013. However, their hiring had been expensive for the clubs, which therefore could not afford financially.
Recruitment of international athletes
With only Vietnamese players, the competition lacked little stake and competitiveness. Moreover, the fact of playing only between Vietnamese, always against the same people does not necessarily make it possible to store experience and progress. This is the reason why the VFV gave the green light to the recruitment of foreigners.
Fourteen clubs took advantage of this opportunity. The Lavie Long An, Kinh Bac Ninh and Thanh Hoa teams hired two foreigners, while the others only recruited one. Among the 17 foreign players, most come from Southeast Asian countries and have participated in SEA Games 31 including Assanaphan Chantajorn, Napadet Bhinijdee, Hernanda Zulfi, Voeurn Veasna and Megawati Hangestri Pertiwi. There are also players from Asia, North America and Central Africa.
The women’s team Chimie Duc Giang Hà Nôi (Hoa chât Duc Giang Hà Nôi) has signed a contract with the Cameroonian international, Moma Bassoko, who won the last three African championships. The owner of this team, Dào Huu Huyên, does not hide his ambition: “Our goal is a new coronation. We have prepared 5 billion VND bonus if the whole team reaches it”.
The presence of foreign players also promises to make the 2022 national championships exciting. Conversely, some teams have chosen to continue to trust their Vietnamese players and have not planned to hire foreigners.
The most popular teams are Communication Command – Bô tu lênh thông tin (reigning national champion team), Trang An Ninh Binh (national champion), Vinh Phuc (League A champion) and Vinh Long ( League A champion).
Trust in domestic players
The Communication Command and Tràng An Ninh Binh have confirmed that they will not recruit foreign players for the 2022 season. They are participating with their existing members and they have confidence in their current formations.
Communication Command head coach Minh Dung is counting on his colts who won the silver medal at SEA Games 31 and are former members of the national team.
As for the Tràng An Ninh Binh team, it has signed a contract with the former exceptional outside striker Quôc Duy of the club Thê Công. In addition to Quoc Duy, Trang An Ninh Binh also has some members of the national team in its ranks. This team is one of the favorites for the 2022 season.
The Vinh Phuc women’s team wants to develop the competitive spirit of its national players and wishes to avoid relegation. The functioning of the team has been affected by the difficulties of its sponsor, FLC group. In its debut, the Vinh Phuc women’s team had set itself the goal of qualifying for the finals of the National Championships just one year after being promoted. However, at present, it focuses its resources on national players. The recruitment of foreign players will depend on the funds available.
Regarding the Vinh Phuc men’s team, they are looking for foreign players who could adapt to the team and the national championships. She hopes to have some great hitters to shine at this year’s Nationals. She has just finished a tournament in the South which was held in the province of Vinh Long.
Vietnamese volleyball has the ambition to enter the big leagues. This is why, in parallel with the organization of tournaments and the strengthening of the quality of teams taking part in national championships, the fact of authorizing clubs to recruit foreign players will allow it to develop rapidly. -CVN/VNA