Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on February 10 met members of the Vietnamese national women’s football team who returned home earlier the same day after earning a berth at the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time and finishing fifth at the recently-concluded 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup.
The PM called the footballers “diamond girls” and Mai Duc Chung a “diamond coach”, saying they showed talents, intelligence, will and mettle of Vietnamese people, and overcome hardships to bring home victories, contributing to the Vietnamese football.
Chinh affirmed that their achievement reflects firm development steps of Vietnamese women’s football, and expressed his hope for more support for women’s football.
He asked competent agencies, particularly the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, to further review, build and consolidate suitable, synchronous policies to promote football and women’s football in particular.
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs was also requested to work on policies towards footballers after their retirement.
The Ministry of Finance would establish a fund for women’s football and issue mechanisms and policies to create financial resources for the sport, the leader suggested.
The team expressed their delight at the attention and sentiments of the Party, the State and domestic fans, and promised to gain highest results at SEA Games 31 and World Cup 2023.
Head coach Chung and the players had made thorough preparations after qualifying for the 2022 AFC Asian Cup held in India, with determination to win a berth at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.
The team joined a training session in Spain in late 2021 but many players then tested positive for COVID-19.
They overcame the challenge and qualified for the quarterfinals of the 2022 AFC Asian Cup. After losing 1-3 to China, who were the eventual champions of the tournament, Vietnam had to compete in the play-off round to vie for a ticket to the 2023 World Cup.
The team showed dominance against regional rivals Thailand with a 2-0 victory, and gained a convincing 2-1 win against Chinese Taipei, making history for earning the first appearance in the Women’s World Cup.
The Vietnamese women footballers’ impressive accomplishments have won praises of foreign fans. Emotional celebrations of head coach Chung and his players were posted on numerous international sports channels.