Arab officials continue campaign against Australia

An Arab backlash against Australia's inclusion in the Asian Football Confederation is continuing. Following an outburst by Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, the Olympic Council of Asia president, his brother, Sheik Talah al-Fahd Al Sabah, president of the West Asian Games committee, publically stated: "We are against Australia joining the Asian continent, even in soccer. This is the biggest mistake made against Asian soccer. This will kill the ambitions of Asian soccer ... What are we going to benefit from Australia's soccer team when it plays a game with Asia? Is it the experience? We might play with them once every four years, not more"

Sheik Talal envisaged no trouble removing Australia from the AFC. "It is natural to be able to change the decision. A general assembly can annul it the way it approved it," he told a news conference at the ongoing Asian Games in Doha reported by The Age. "There are general assemblies that can ask them to leave the way they brought them in. I hope this happens before the World Cup qualifications."

See also: Olympic head calls Australia into Asia "a mistake" (6 Dec)