Tuesday, October 17, 2006

AFC demands Asia Cup assurances from Indonesia

Visitors from the Asian Football Confederation to Jakata reiterated policy that the Indonesian government guarantees that renovations to the Gelora Bung Karno stadium for the hosting of the Asian Cup be completed by 31 December 2006. The representatives also demanded that the Indonesia government explicitly not allow any activity in the stadium - other than two ASEAN Football Championship matches and two matches for the 2008 Olympic football qualifiers - until the commencment of the Asian Cup program next July.

The deputy of AFC general secretary Paul Mony Samuel said the AFC would not tolerate any delay on that renovation process and reminded Indonesia's State Minister for Youth and Sport, Adhyaksa Dault, that Indonesia is not the only host for the group stage but also one of the semifinal and the grand-final. "We want this stadium be the best venue on that Asian Cup,” he said.

In a meeting also attended by Kelly Sathairaj, Regional Officer Competition Department AFC, Tom Wheller from World Sport Group and Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) general secretary Nugraha Besoes and foreign department president Dali Tahir. Adhyaksa, State Minister Dault said he would cooperate with the State Secretariat which is in charge of the Senayan Stadium management, PSSI reported.

Nugraha Besoes, meanwhile expressed his optimism that the renovation will be completed in December although electronic equipment might not be completed at the time. "The automatic score-record equipment we ordered from the United States will arrive next January," he admitted.

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