x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Malaysia 'no bid' to host AFC

Malaysia, home to the AFC for more than 40 years, will not submit a bid to remain host of the region's football body because of their "excessive" demands.

BANGKOK // Malaysia, home to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for more than 40 years, will not submit a bid to remain host of the region's football body because of their "excessive" demands. Azzuddin Ahmad, secretary-general of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), said Kuala Lumpur would rather risk losing the AFC than agree to their unrealistic requirements. "We won't bid for it, why should we?" Ahmad said yesterday.

"Their demands are too excessive - diplomatic status, loans and more. They must understand they are not the United Nations." AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar has opened up bidding to the 46 member countries and there is speculation he is keen on a move to an oil-rich Gulf state. Meanwhile, the former World Player of the Year Rivaldo has dismissed reports he is to return to Brazil with the midfielder insisting he will honour his contract with Uzbek side Bunyodkor.

Rivaldo, 36, signed a one-year deal last month but has since been linked with a move to Brazilian team Moji-Mirim. However, Rivaldo, who will look to help Bunyodkor overturn a 3-0 deficit when they face Adelaide United in their Asian Champions League semi-final second-leg clash today, denied the rumour. "It's a complete lie," he told the AFC's website. Gamba Osaka coach Akira Nishino does not expect Urawa Reds to be weakened, despite a trio of suspensions for their Asian Champions League semi-final second leg clash.

The defending champions will be without goalkeeper Ryota Tsuzuki as well as Hajime Hosogai and Takahito Soma as they look to build on an advantage earned in a 1-1 draw in the first leg two weeks ago. * Reuters