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
"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