Singapore won't 'aggravate' Malaysia over Man U

Football Association of Singapore Vice-President John Koh was quick to quash the idea of inviting Manchester United to play in the island Republic following Malaysia's cancellation of its leg of the English Premier League club's Asian tour. Speaking from Kuala Lumpur, where he was re-elected to the Asian Football Confederation executive committee, Koh told Cubby Leong of Today Online that "hosting one of the legs of the tour was never on our radar. In any case, it is too short notice now for anyone to conduct any sort of negotiations."

More to the point, Singapore would not want to "aggravate the situation by putting our hands up" and breaching the show of solidarity by the AFC nations. "The Asian Cup is Asia's premier competition and must be respected. Manchester United's tour is just a series of friendly games," he said. Asked why the issue of Malaysia as hosts had only just surfaced, when the trip had been in the works for a while, Koh suggested that behind-the-scenes negotiations over the last few months "probably didn't work out."