Football federation opens door to Vietnamese expats

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The Vietnam Football Federation has invited Vietnamese German Nguyen Thanh Giang (L) and Vietnamese Czech Mac Hong Quan to play for the Vietnam national U22 team

The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) has invited two Vietnamese expatriates to play for its national U22 team in a reversal of an original decision not to do so.

On Tuesday, VFF Vice Chairman Nguyen Lan Trung had said that while the football governing body appreciated coach Mai Duc Chung's search for and nomination of Vietnamese German Nguyen Thanh Giang and Vietnamese Czech Mac Hong Quan for the Under-22 team, the organization was not going to invite the players to represent Vietnam.

"The national coaches council has not had the opportunity to watch and assess those two players [Giang and Quan] while the qualifying round of the 2012 Asian U22 Football Championship is approaching. We will consider the cases for the long-term future," said Trung.

However, on Wednesday, VFF Vice Chairman Pham Ngoc Vien discussed the issue with coach Mai Duc Chung and agreed that the VFF would send invitations to the two players, their families and their clubs, asking the players to join Vietnam's U22 team in Vietnam.

Pham Van Tuan, deputy director of the General Department of Physical Training and Sports at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, lauded the federation's decision.

Coach Chung contacted the players' families and if nothing changes, Quan and Giang will arrive in Vietnam June 3.

Mac Hong Quan was born in 1992 in Hanoi and moved to the Czech Republic in 2000. Quan played football for Tachov club when he was young and when he was 15, he signed a contract to play professionally for the Sparta Praha club.

Sparta Praha has bred several world-famous players, including Pavel Nedved, Patrick Berger, Jan Koeller, Tomas Rosicky and Petre Cech.

Quan is now a Czech resident but he has not played for any of the Czech national teams, so he can play for Vietnam.

Nguyen Thanh Giang was born in 1991. He was born and grew up in Germany. He is currently playing as a striker for FC Erzgebirge Aue, a second-flight football club in Germany.

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