Their dreams were made a reality when the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) increased the Asian region’s World Cup representatives to five and banned the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from competing.
A lifelong dream
FIFA regulations stipulate the five teams competing at the 2015 World Cup in Canada will be selected after the May 2014 conclusion of Asian Cup finals.
Australia, Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea, are expected to qualify. Two third-placed teams will play off for the final spot.
Vietnam is in Group A of the finals, alongside Japan, Australia, and Jordan. If Vietnam can beat Jordan, qualification could come down to a match against Thailand or Myanmar from Group B.
Recent motivation from the 27th SEA Games
In the final round of the 27th SEA Games, the Vietnamese women’s team lost 1-2 to strong Thai rivals. But the squad was not dispirited. Although Thailand remain favourites, hosting duties will give Vietnam an advantage during May’s Asia Cup finals. Myanmar is also a contender.
Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Chairman Le Hung Dung said the Vietnamese women’s football team has a chance to prove itself.
Major support for women’s football
The team’s SEA Games silver-medal-winning performance earned VND1.5 billion in prize money, an additional VND1.5 billion diverted from the U23 men’s team, and VND300 million from the main sponsors – the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV).
The promising showing inspired new two-year sponsorship contracts. Nutifood will set aside VND6 billion to support Vietnam’s national female football team through its World Cup qualification bid. A number of other organisations have followed suit.
Acting VFF Chairman Le Hung Dung used a recent press conference to confirm the federation’s financial commitments to the national women's football team. Their Thai and Myanmar rivals have also earned comparable corporate backing.
Hung said he believes the relatively equal funding only increases the importance of professionalism and expert human resources.