Ten out of 27 players and two assistants in the team have tested positive for the novel coronavirus just one day after Vietnam’s 7-0 victory over Singapore in their first group-stage battle at the tournament on Saturday night.

There is a high likelihood that the infection will spread among the team members in the coming days.

To prevent a shortage of players in the upcoming games, the VFF has decided to send Phan Tuan Tai of Viettel FC, Dinh Quy of QNK Quang Nam FC, Vu Dinh Hai of Hanoi FC, Huynh Tien Dat, Nguyen Thanh Nhan and Tran Bao Toan of Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC to join the team. They are expected to arrive in Phnom Penh on Tuesday afternoon.

However, they will not be able to participate in Vietnam’s match against archrivals Thailand at 7:00 pm on the same day.

According to the latest regulations of the AFF, a team can make up to ten substitutions when their players test positive for COVID-19.

The 2022 AFF U23 Championship is divided into three groups. Group A consists of hosts Cambodia, Timor Leste, the Philippines, and Brunei. Group B includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Laos. However, Indonesia and Myanmar have withdrawn from Group B due to numerous COVID-19 infections within their teams.

Vietnam and Thailand are in Group C, along with Singapore. Singapore started their campaign at the tournament with a 1-3 loss against Thailand on February 16.

The top team from each group and the best runners-up will advance to the semifinals.

The championship began on Monday and will conclude on February 26.

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