AFC approves Thailand's two Asian Cup stadiums

Thailand's preparation of two national stadiums for this year's Asian Cup has been approved by the Asian Football Confederation "We're very happy with what we have seen over the last few days," Carlos Nohra, the AFC's competitions director, told reporters after an inspection of the Rajamangala and Supachalasai stadiums, which will host Group A matches. Nohra said the AFC were satisfied with renovations to the 60,000-seater Rajamangala stadium but admitted there had been little progress with the ageing Supachalasai venue, which is comprised mostly of concrete terracing. It will stage one of the final two group matches, which competition rules state must kick-off at the same time. Thailand has until 30 May to install 19,600 news seats.

"This was initially supposed to be a training venue, and we did not ask for new seats," Nohra said. "But we are very happy with what has happened at the Rajamangala stadium." He said he was "cautiously optimistic" that all four hosts, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, will soon complete preparations for the 7-29 July tournament. "Every country is ahead in certain areas and behind in others," he said. "All the countries and the AFC are a little behind with promotions for the event.