Sunday, May 13, 2007

Malaysian Minister: AFC President "has no rights"

Malaysia has never prevented Manchester United FC from coming to Malaysia at the end of July, but indeed welcomed them, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said."How could we not allow them to come here? It is their summer holiday program and one of the countries they will stop at is Malaysia because Tourism Malaysia and AirAsia are among the sponsors of the Manchester United games this season," he told Bernama news service.

"I was shocked ...the AFC's view is too narrow. He [Asian Football Confederation President Mohammed Hammam] said Manchester United should not come to Malaysia since the Asian Cup would be on. Manchester United's presence in Malaysia is not a problem, so the AFC should let the fans meet their favourite players as this is one way to develop Malaysian football. The AFC president should not be talking for Malaysia ... he has no connection with Malaysia," he added.

Adnan said he would contact Gill and inform him that Malaysia had no objection to Manchester United's visit and he would meet FAM and other relevant parties on the issue raised by AFC. "He [Hammam] has no right, AFC is only concerned with the tournament [Asian Cup]. Manchester United can come and if necessary, we can ask them to play in another place like Penang, Langkawi, Sabah or Johor Baharu instead of Kuala Lumpur." He said Manchester United could even be asked to play beach soccer or hold football clinics.

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