Malaysian PM still welcomes Man United to play

Malaysia's Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has asked the organisers of Manchester United's promotional game in Kuala Lumpur to go on with the event. "We hope the organisers of the English team's Malaysian tour will not cancel it as it is part of the government's Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign," he told reporters here after delivering his message to his UMNO party members in conjunction with the party's 61st anniversary celebration. Abdullah, who is also UMNO president, appeared surprised with the question on the impending cancellation of the newly crowned English Premier League champions' tour here, asking: "Why?"

"We want the Manchester United team to come here as this year is Visit Malaysia Year. If they come here, we believe that many of their fans from the region like in Singapore and Thailand will be here too for the match. We know how great the club is and they will be a big attraction to football fans here," he added. According to Bernama, the state-owned news services, "dismissed sabotage for the decision to cancel the match."