Historical Chance for Lebanon and Iraq in the Futsal World Cup

Thursday 29/04/2021
Iraq and Lebanon stand a short distance from achieving an unprecedented historical achievement, after being named from the West Asian region to participate in the Asian playoffs to reserve the remaining two qualifying cards for Asia. 

The AFC announced that Japan, Iran, and Uzbekistan have won the qualification cards for the 2021 Futsal World Cup in Lithuania, after being selected in the standard of the five best teams in the last edition of the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship in Chinese Taipei, while Lebanon, Iraq, Vietnam and Thailand were selected within the second criterion according to the points system for the best five teams in the last three editions of the tournament in 2014, 2016 and 2018. 

The road became clear for 4  Asian teams, with match-ups for the AFC Playoffs for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021 revealed in a draw on Tuesday. 

Iraq will face Thailand, while Vietnam will play Lebanon, with the respective winners of the two-legged playoffs to advance to global finals. 

The two first-leg matches will be held on May 20, with the return matches taking place after five days, while the Futsal World Cup 2021 will start in Lithuania from September 12 and the final will be held on October 3. 

Iraq and Lebanon aspire to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in its history. 

In this context, Mr. Hashem Haidar, the President of the Lebanese Football Association, affirmed that the first step taken by the (LFA) is to preserve Lebanon's right to participate in the Asian playoffs for the World Cup qualifiers. 

Haidar talked about Lebanon's confrontation with Vietnam on qualifying for the World Cup, saying, "God willing, the technical staff and the players will be fully prepared, and we will contract with a new coach and we will put all the capabilities of the federation at the disposal of the national team."

"We have all confidence in their potential and we hope that the historical dream of qualifying for the futsal World Cup for the first time will be fulfilled," he added. 

In his turn, Iraq aspires to make a new achievement. Haitham Abbas Baiwi, The Iraqi coach, considered that the start of the Asian playoffs is "the beginning of the renaissance of Iraqi futsal." 

"Our match against Thailand in the home and away games will be dream-fulfilling matches, and we will do our best to obtain the qualifying card for the 2021 World Cup Finals in Lithuania. We are working to achieve performance and joy for our great people," he said.