WSG says one AFF Cup group to play in Vietnam

It appears that the Asian Football Confederation's exclusive commercial partner, the World Sports Group, may have reached an agreement to share the next ASEAN Football Championship with Vietnam's Thanh Nien newspaper group. When Singapore-based Tiger Beer did not renew its 10-year sponsorship of the tournament two years ago, Thanh Nien and Vietnam marketing companies offered to cover the sponsorship providing the event was held in Vietnam and not rotated through other South East Asian nations.

This was rejected by the ASEAN Football Federation and WSG and the 2006-2007 edition was played without a naming sponsor.

Now the newspaper itself reports that one of the two final groups in the next event will be based in Vietnam and said that Ian Mathie, vice chairman of the World Sports Group, had revealed the information to Vietnam media following a meeting with officials from the newspaper and Vietnam Football Federation vice chairman, Le Huu Bang.

Thanh Nien’s editor-in-chief, Nguyen Cong Khe, reportedly again told Mathie that the newspaper wished to become the main sponsor of the event. "But Mathie said his agency had already signed several long-term deals with other partners but agreed to hold further talks for future cooperation."

See also: AFF/WSG back talking to Thanh Nien for AFF Cup (8 Feb) andUS$2M sponsorship still sought for ASEAN Cup (17 Oct 05)