ING group to sponsor AFC Asian Cup 2007

Dutch global financial services company ING has signed a deal to become an Official Sponsor of the AFC Asian Cup 2007, the continent's premier national team competition. The sponsorship extends ING's involvement with football in Asia and follows its sponsorship of the AFC Champions League, the continent's premier club team competition.

ING will be the exclusive Bank and Insurance sector sponsor and joins, Emirates, Epson, JCB, Konica Minolta, Maxell, Samsung, Toshiba and Yamaha as Official Sponsors of the event.

"Through various arts and sports sponsorship, ING hopes not only to increase its brand awareness but also to contribute to cultural development in each of the markets where ING has a presence. I hope this sponsorship will have a positive effect on the further development of football activities in the Asian region," Alexander Rinnooy Kan, Member of the Executive Board and chairman of ING Insurance Asia/Pacific, said.

Mohamed bin Hammam, President of the AFC, welcomed the partnership: "The 2004 edition of the Asian Cup showed that interest in national team football in Asia has reached new heights. Asia may be a vast and disparate continent but quality football helps bring the football family closer together. The involvement of a respected and well known international institution like ING is a real boost to our sport and is further proof that Asian football is on the up," he said.

Asian Cup 2007 will be held in the ASEAN region in July 2007. The 14th edition of the competition will, for the first time, be co-hosted, with Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia the venues. Twenty-four of Asia's top teams will begin qualification for the 16 spots available at the tournament in early 2006. The draw for the Qualifying Round will take place on 4 January 2006.

ING Group provides a wide array of banking, insurance and asset management services and is one of the 20 largest financial institutions worldwide. In Asia-Pacific, ING has offices in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei and Thailand.