AFC to Malaysia: Honour Asian Cup agreement

Asian Football Confederation President Mohamed Bin Hammam said he is trying to meet Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to discuss English Premier League club Manchester United's planned visit to Kuala Lumpur during the Asian Cup after Football Association of Malaysia officials backtracked on a decision to scrap the 27 July match. "The crux of the matter is about honouring an agreement. If there happens to be a breach of agreement, it has wide-ranging legal repercussions," he said as quoted by AFP. "We do not think it is too much to ask for the continent and people of Asia to be exposed to our tournament just for one month. It will be our pleasure if Malaysia were to host the United match in early August.'

Malaysia, one of four Asian Cup co-hosts, last year signed an agreement not to promote other matches 10 days before the 7-29 July Asian Cup and three days afterwards. He said there was "room for compromise" and insisted he had never wanted the match axed altogether. "The AFC had never called for the United game to be called off. We only want them to reschedule their match,'" he added. "This issue is not about AFC against United or Asia versus Europe. All we ask is for the various parties to give us the breathing space to ensure that the Asian Cup becomes a resounding success."