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Asia warms to 39th game

10 Oct 2008 - 07:55:28

Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed bin Hammam has softened his stance towards the Premier League's controversial 39th-game proposal.

The AFC chief was a high-profile dissenting voice when the league first mooted plans to play an 'international round' of games in cities across the world from 2011 in an initial statement back in February.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore revealed earlier in the week that the proposal was still being discussed by clubs and would be for the next 12 months.

And now bin Hammam has revealed he could be persuaded to embrace the idea should it have positive implications for the clubs under his jurisdiction.

"Whatever plans the Premier League has for its future the AFC is ready to advise and support," he claimed.

"There is too much foreign football on our continent, but I am a big fan of the Premier League and I was really impressed with the way they are developing their thoughts about developing the game in Asia.

"In the past there were no ideas, but now they know people want something left behind and they are up to the mark.

"I am depending more on the understanding of the Premier League chairmen. I want them to see that we are legitimate partners.

"I am not saying I have changed my mind totally, but they are exploring ideas."


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