Viet Nam to co-host Asian Cup in 2007

Update: January, 28/2006 - 00:00

Viet Nam to co-host Asian Cup in 2007


HA NOI — Viet Nam Football Federation’s (VFF) general secretary, Tran Quoc Tuan, confirmed Viet Nam will co-host the final round of the Asian Football Confederation’s Asian Cup in 2007.

Tuan, who returned from an AFC meeting on Monday, also said that representatives from the football associations of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam signed a legal contract with the AFC confirming their official co-hosts status.

The four nations are slated to host Asian football’s premier international football competition from July 7 to 29 next year. A draw held early this month in Malaysia affirmed that 16 teams will compete in six groups in two legs of the qualifying round. The two top teams will each gain berths in the final round in which Viet Nam will host one group.

Speaking before the signing, AFC President, Mohamed bin Hammam, admitted that the four co-hosts face a number of challenges.

"I am positive that our four organising associations will all rise to the challenge of hosting what we hope will be AFC’s best competition to date," he said.

"Up until now, all planning is going according to schedule. The signing of the Organisation Association Agreements is a milestone in the staging of AFC competitions as we enter a new era of professionalism."

Tuan also said, hosting the cup is a chance for Viet Nam in gaining experience and improving competition.

"In the meeting in Kuala Lumpur, AFC highly appreciated VFF’s efforts in preparation for the Cup next year," Tuan said in a phone interview yesterday.

He also added that Viet Nam now has international standard stadiums including My Dinh in Ha Noi, Lach Tray in Hai Phong, Nam Dinh’s Thien Truong and Thong Nhat in HCM City.

In a meeting with VFF last year, AFC’s general secretary, Peter Velappan, estimated that Viet Nam may become one of Asia’s strongest football nations in the next five years.

"Viet Nam is a football country. We are happy to see football receive support from local governments, clubs and the public," said Velappan, adding the country showed great potential in the sport. — VNS