Officially identifying the cauldron for the first leg confrontation between Indonesia and Vietnam in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers

The World Football Federation (FIFA) confirms that the first leg of the second round of the 2026 World Cup Asian qualifiers in Group F between the Indonesia national team and the Vietnam national team on March 21 will be held at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.

The Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, known as a “cauldron”, with a capacity of over 77,000 seats (nearly double that of My Dinh Stadium), is always packed with spectators whenever the Indonesia national team plays. The last time the Vietnam national team played here was during the first leg of the AFF Cup 2022 semi-final (0-0 draw on January 6, 2023). Later, in the second leg at My Dinh Stadium (January 9, 2023), the Vietnam national team defeated Indonesia 2-0 to advance to the final against the Thailand national team.

This schedule is set to be repeated in the two crucial matches of the Indonesia and Vietnam national teams in the second round of the 2026 World Cup Asian qualifiers. The first leg will take place on March 21 at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, and the second leg on March 26 at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi.

Previously, at the AFF Cup 2020 (played in 2021) and the match in the first leg of the second round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, the Indonesia national team hosted the Vietnam national team respectively at a neutral venue in Singapore and at the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Bali.

The Gelora Bung Karno Stadium has recently undergone significant renovations and a pitch replacement to host the U17 World Cup organized in Indonesia at the end of 2023. It is also the stadium where the Indonesia national team played in the first leg of the first round, defeating the Brunei team 6-0 (12-0 on aggregate) to advance to the second round of the 2026 World Cup Asian qualifiers.

However, the President of the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI), Mr. Erick Thohir, has recently expressed concerns that the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium’s pitch will suffer severe degradation due to hosting numerous international concerts. In January, concerts by the renowned band Coldplay took place (from January 26 to 29), and the famous singer Ed Sheeran is still scheduled to perform there on March 3.

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