AFC's 'better understanding' with European clubs

Asia's top football official says he expects to see harmony between the Asian Football Confederation and European clubs, despite a recent spat over Manchester United's pre-season commercial tour of the continent. AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam said the heated dispute, which erupted when the the English Premier League club booked their tour at the same time as the Asian Cup, was a thing of the past.

"We now have a better understanding with European clubs and European leagues," Bin Hammam told broadcaster ESPN. "I am glad to see that this has opened a wide door for discussion, agreement and cooperation." He added: "I think that this will be of benefit to football in Asia and maybe in the world. I don't think that, in the future, there will conflict between the AFC and Europe."

Bin Hammam favours a ban on clubs touring Asia during the next Asian Cup in Qatar in 2011, although with the competition slated for January, midway through the European league season, few clubs are likely to visit the region.