South Chinese to suit "sultry Asian Cup climate"?

China's national football coach Zhu Guanghu named a preliminary 30-man training camp list for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup. The roll includes most of the Europe-based stars like Manchester United forward Dong Fangzhuo, former Chalton midfielder Zheng Zhi, Sheffield United's Li Tie, Cottbus playmaker Shao Jiayi, Manchester City's Sun Jihai and Sun Xiang, who played for PSV Einhoven last season. Major players like Xu Yunlong and Du Zhenyu are in the last seven injury group. Four of Ratmir Dujkovic's U-23 Olympic team players are in the roster.

"I have chosen the strongest squad at hands. The aim of advancing to at least the last four has not changed. You may notice more players from southern cities are in the list. Because we have to find players who can get used to the sultry South East Asia climate much easier," said Zhu. Goalkeepers: Li Leilei, Yang Jun, Chen Dong, Zong Lei. Defenders: Du Wei, Sun Xiang, Zhang Yaokun, Li Weifeng, Sun Jihai, Zhang Shuai, Ji Mingyi, Cao Yang, Xin Feng, Xu Yunlong. Midfielders: Shao Jiayi, Li Tie, Zheng Zhi, Zhao Xuri, Wang Dong, Zhou Haibin, Zheng Bin, Mao Jianqing, Li Yan, Du Zhenyu, Tao Wei. Forwards: Han Peng, Dong Fangzhuo, Zhu Ting, Qu Bo, Wang Peng.

The Chinese team will regather in Beijing later in June, before heading for Hong Kong to have the last two warm-ups. On 1 July, China will challenge the FIFA World Stars team in the Reunification Cup and on 4 July will meet the Australian A-League premier and champion club Melbourne Victory. China is seated in Group C of the Asian Cup with Iran, Uzbekistan and co-hosts Malaysia.