TOUGH FOR CHAMP

DECEMBER 23, 2006 (BANGKOK) – In spite of being placed in a tough group for the Asean Football Championship next month, defending champion Singapore remains confident that they can win the title they won in 2004.

The two-time winner of the biennial championship is in Group B of the meet and where they will face Indonesia, Vietnam and Laos.

John Koh, general secretary of the FA of Singapore (FAS), said that the match-ups were sure to excite football fans throughout the Asean region.

“This tournament is wide open – all the teams have an equal chance,” said Koh.

“This is the sixth edition of the Asean Football Championship and the gap between the countries has closed. There will be no 10-0 thrashings this time.

“There will be a lot of excitement and the closeness of the games will fascinate the supporters. The competitive nature of the tournament augurs well for the future of football in Asean.¡±

The Group B matches in Singapore will be held at the National Stadium and the Jalan Besar Stadium.

At the official draw ceremony in Bangkok earlier in the month, the Malaysian side has been drawn against Thailand, Myanmar and the Philippines in Group A.

¡°We could not have asked for a better draw than what has occurred,¡± said Dato¡¯ Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad, the general secretary of the FA of Malaysia (FAM).

¡°It is a fair draw, an even draw for Malaysia and it has given us an even chance to qualify for the semi-finals.¡±

The tournament slated for 12th January to 3rd February 2007 will be played at two venues ¨C Group A in Thailand and Group B in Singapore.

All matches in Group A will be played at the Stadium Suphachalasai and the Army Stadium in Bangkok.

GROUPINGS
GROUP A: Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines
GROUP B: Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos