Vietnam eyeing 2026 FIFA World Cup berth

Vietnam is targeting a place at the 2026 FIFA World Cup, according to a leading official from the Vietnam Football Federation.

“Vietnam and other countries and regions in Southeast Asia have a great chance to play in the world’s biggest football tournament. Besides national senior teams, we will invest in Under-15 and Under-18 footballers to help us earn a place in the tournament,” the federation’s vice president Tran Quoc Tuan was quoted as saying by the Vietnam News on Thursday.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico. This is set to be the first edition of the quadrennial tournament to feature 48 teams, up from the existing 32. The 2026 tournament will feature 16 groups of three teams, meaning that Asia will have seven or eight slots to compete for.

According to the latest FIFA world rankings released in June, Vietnam is currently Asia’s 15th best national team. The country finished runners-up in the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-23 Championship, finished fourth at the 2019 Asian Games, and won the 2018 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup.

Vietnam’s U-15 and U-18 teams are currently training in Japan in preparation for the AFF U-15 Championship which opens in Thailand in late July, and the AFF U-18 Championship held in Vietnam in August.