Sub-editor/Correspondent, Singapore
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Nov 30, 2014

Soccer-Saudi spitter slapped with eight-match cup ban – report

MANILA, Nov 30 (Reuters) – AFC player of the year nominee Nasser Al Shamrani has been banned for eight matches for spitting and head butting an opponent after the final of the AFC Champions League earlier this month, Arabic media reported on Sunday.

The Saudi striker’s ban, the least he could have received after being found guilty, is only for matches in the AFC Champions League, meaning he will be free to represent his country at the Asian Cup in January and his club Al Hilal in domestic competition, the report said.

Nov 29, 2014

Soccer-Decision on next Asian Cup hosts unlikely before mid-2015

MANILA, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Qatar will stage the AFC’s under-23 championships in 2016, which will also serve as an Olympic qualifier, but the wait to find out who will host the expanded 2019 Asian Cup will go on until sometime next year.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said a date had not been set for a decision on whether Iran or United Arab Emirates would host the 24-team showpiece event.

Nov 29, 2014

AFC head wants part publication of Garcia report; backs Qatar

MANILA (Reuters) – Asian soccer chief Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said any non confidential aspects of the report into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups should be made public as he defended Qatar and FIFA in the wake of criticism.

FIFA has been heavily criticised following a report by U.S. attorney Michael Garcia into alleged corruption in the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

Nov 29, 2014

Soccer -AFC head wants part publication of Garcia report; backs Qatar

MANILA, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Asian soccer chief Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said any non confidential aspects of the report into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups should be made public as he defended Qatar and FIFA in the wake of criticism.

FIFA has been heavily criticised following a report by U.S. attorney Michael Garcia into alleged corruption in the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

Nov 29, 2014

AFC behind Blatter despite Prince Ali bid reports

MANILA (Reuters) – Asian soccer head Shaikh Salman bin Al Khalifa reiterated his confederation’s support for Sepp Blatter in next year’s FIFA presidential elections despite reports that Jordanian Prince Ali bin Al Hussein may run for soccer’s top job.

The Jordanian royal, FIFA vice president and a member of the AFC’s executive committee, was considering a bid to run against Blatter and Jerome Champagne after receiving support from UEFA president Michel Platini, British media reported this week.

Nov 29, 2014

Saudi spitter Al Shamrani says reaction was ‘normal’

MANILA (Reuters) – Al Hilal striker Nasser Al Shamrani said it was a normal reaction to spit at Western Sydney Wanderers defender Matthew Spiranovic at the end of the AFC Champions League final earlier this month after claiming to be verbally abused by the Australian.

The Saudi Arabia striker, one of three players short-listed for the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Player of the Year Award, could be clearly seen spitting in the direction of the substitute after his side lost 1-0 on aggregate to the Australians.

Nov 29, 2014

Soccer-Saudi spitter Al Shamrani says reaction was ‘normal’

MANILA, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Al Hilal striker Nasser Al Shamrani said it was a normal reaction to spit at Western Sydney Wanderers defender Matthew Spiranovic at the end of the AFC Champions League final earlier this month after claiming to be verbally abused by the Australian.

The Saudi Arabia striker, one of three players short-listed for the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Player of the Year Award, could be clearly seen spitting in the direction of the substitute after his side lost 1-0 on aggregate to the Australians.

Nov 29, 2014

Soccer-AFC behind Blatter despite Prince Ali bid reports

MANILA, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Asian soccer head Shaikh Salman bin Al Khalifa reiterated his confederation’s support for Sepp Blatter in next year’s FIFA presidential elections despite reports that Jordanian Prince Ali bin Al Hussein may run for soccer’s top job.

The Jordanian royal, FIFA vice president and a member of the AFC’s executive committee, was considering a bid to run against Blatter and Jerome Champagne after receiving support from UEFA president Michel Platini, British media reported this week.

Nov 26, 2014

Thais burst through to last four, Singapore hold off Myanmar

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Tournament favourites Thailand booked a spot in the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup after edging Malaysia 3-2 following a lengthy weather delay on Wednesday, while co-hosts Singapore kick-started their campaign with a nervy 4-2 win over Myanmar.

Heavy rain and lightning delayed kick-off on the artificial turf at the Jalan Besar Stadium for two-and-a-half hours before the Thais were able to record their second win of the eight-team tournament thanks to a 90th minute winner by substitute striker Adisak Kraisorn.

Nov 26, 2014

Soccer-Thais burst through to last four, Singapore hold off Myanmar

SINGAPORE, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Tournament favourites Thailand booked a spot in the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup after edging Malaysia 3-2 following a lengthy weather delay on Wednesday, while co-hosts Singapore kick-started their campaign with a nervy 4-2 win over Myanmar.

Heavy rain and lightning delayed kick-off on the artificial turf at the Jalan Besar Stadium for two-and-a-half hours before the Thais were able to record their second win of the eight-team tournament thanks to a 90th minute winner by substitute striker Adisak Kraisorn.