Saturday, November 29, 2008


Plan B - Chiang Mai or Vietnam? Or Phuket even?

THE Thailand Football Association has confirmed that it will host the Asean Football Championship Group B matches on Dec 5-11 despite the political turmoil in Bangkok.

It is learnt that Thailand FA president Datuk Worawi Makudi will be writing officially to the AFF and will suggest Chiang Mai as an alternate venue if unrest continues in the Thai capital.

Malaysia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam are in Group B while Indonesia, Singapore, Myanmar and Cambodia will see action in Group A. Their matches will be played in Jakarta.

"I am not prepared to give up the hosting rights yet. We will make a decision soon and inform AFF. "We will do what we can to have the tournament in Thailand," said Worawi when contacted yesterday.

Meanwhile, AFF competitions committee chairman Ravy Khek said: "We will wait for Thailand to get back to us. As long as they are confident of the staging the event in any part of the country it is fine with us as long as we find that venue is fit to host the event."

In the event that Thailand is not able to host the event, Vietnam will host the Group B matches.

Or Phuket?

Suzuki Cup tournament could be moved from Bangkok to Phuket due to political chaos


The AFF Suzuki Cup is likely to be moved from Bangkok to Phuket due to the current political problems, Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president Worawi Makudi said yesterday.

The Asean championship will be co-hosted by Thailand and Indonesia next month with the Thailand leg scheduled to kick off in Bangkok on December 6.

Thailand team are in Group B along with Malaysia, Vietnam and Laos, and the Malaysians have reportedly threatened to pull out of the tournament and called for the Thailand event to be moved to Malaysia.

Worawi, who is in Malaysia for talks with that country's football authorities and the Asean Football Federation (AFF), admitted that the political turmoil affected the tournament.
He said he had told the AFF that Phuket would be a good choice if the tournament could not be held in Bangkok.

"Phuket is not affected by the political situation," he said. "Malaysia, Vietnam and Laos can fly directly to Phuket International Airport."

Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports have been seized by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD).

Worawi said he had sent officials to inspect the stadium, facilities and hotels in Phuket and they found they were 80% ready for the tournament.

Phuket's Surakul stadium, which was used for the Fifa Women's Under-19 Championship, has been approved by Fifa, he said.

COMMENT - yet another snub from Asian football officialdom towards Malaysia if this is true. A woman's competition is one thing but a major international event? Anyway, they will need two stadiums because the final games are played at the same time. Songkhla pehaps?

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