Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bolton concerned AFC could delay 'Peace Cup'

Participants in the privately-run Peace Cup held in the off-season in South Korea have now expressed concern about the tournament's clash with the Asian Football Confederation's prestigious Asian Cup 2007 being played in Hanoi, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok between 7-29 July. The South Korean national side is regarded as a hot favourite to win its way through to the Asian Cup Final.

According to Gordon Sharrock in This Is Lancashire, English Premier league club Bolton Wanderers' plans to play in the Peace Cup, alongside Reading FC, between 12 and 21 July could hinge on the diplomatic skills of Premier League chairman, Sir Dave Richards who will soon visit the Asian Football Confederation headquarters in Malaysia.

The AFC has complained to the world football body, FIFA, whose President, Sepp Blatter, "has advised that no tournaments or tours should take place in the Far East while the Asia Cup is being staged - a stance that would affect Liverpool, Fulham and Portsmouth, who have signed up for the Premier League's Asia Tour in Hong Kong, Reading, who have applied to enter the Peace Cup along with Wanderers, and Manchester United, who have arranged a lucrative tour."

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