VFF announces the new head coach of the Vietnam national team in May

The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) is close to finalizing a deal to appoint a new head coach for the national team, with the announcement expected in May. The new coach will take over the remaining two matches in the second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

After parting ways with coach Philippe Troussier in March, VFF quickly shortlisted potential replacements, including candidates from South Korea and Japan. According to VnExpress, the VFF has made its choice and is finalizing a two-year contract. The deal will be announced in early May, and the new coach will immediately begin selecting players and preparing for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against the Philippines (June 6) and Iraq (June 12). Initially, VFF had considered appointing an interim coach if the search for a permanent head took too long.

Last week, South Korean media reported that Kim Sang-sik would take charge of the Vietnamese national team. Born in 1976, Kim was a defender for the South Korean national team. He began coaching in 2021 and led Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors to win the K-League in 2021 and the Korean FA Cup in 2022, earning Coach of the Year honors in both competitions. Despite this success, he was dismissed in early 2023 following a poor start to the season, with Jeonbuk winning just three of their first ten games.

Coach Kim Sang-sik is considered a leading candidate to lead the Vietnam national team currently. (Photo: AFP).

Vietnam has previously found success with South Korean coaches, particularly under Park Hang-seo, who led the national team to the U23 Asian Cup final in 2018, AFF Cup victory in 2018, Asiad semifinals in 2018, SEA Games gold medals in 2019 and 2021, and the third round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

After Park’s departure, VFF signed a long-term deal with Troussier, but his tenure saw failures at both the U23 and senior levels, including two losses to Indonesia in the World Cup qualifiers. Troussier’s preference for a possession-based style also came under fire, deemed unsuitable for Vietnamese players’ abilities and physicality. To address these issues, VFF’s new coach’s contract will include provisions for input from a technical committee and clearer performance metrics for the first year.

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