Issam Hattar - Jordan (17 Feb. 2000)
I am not sure what are you trying to get to. It happens in the World Cup when teams like Jamaica makes it and another stronger teams don't. Qualification is part of any competition. Unfortunately Asian countries do not spend too much money on developing football and they withdraw from qualifications after the groups have been set. If you think that Indonesia making it to the Asia final is a joke, let us wait and see how they play in the finals.
One more comment, it seems that you do not have respect for the Jordanian football. You said "I am sure 100% that UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Syria and even Jordan are much stronger than Indonesia". EVEN JORDAN. In the last Pan Arab games, Syria and Oman competed in their national teams and I do not believe they were even in the Semifinal round. Jordan won the gold by defeated Iraq twice. Jordanian football is not the same as 1980s. You may want to look closer.
Well first of all, what I am getting to is to make football in Asia real strong. Ok I will wait for Indonesia in the Finals as I did in 1996. Finally, no I really appreciate Jordan football very much. Yes they are different now ... much different than before. Now, they have to improve themselves in Asia Qualifying matches which I think they might make to the Finals if the players believe on themselves.
Liu Chinfu - Singapore (16 Feb. 2000)
I would like to say that its high time that U stop ridculting the Asia FF.Nobody is satisfied with Asia FF of course.Even I,from Singapore and some from Japan and Korea aren't happy about Asia FF's efforts. But I had visited Ur site and while I must praise Ur good work on your site and stats and results,I really feel that its high time we stop ridiculting the AFC as if its some kind of monkey organisation. If U people from the Middle East are the only ones who are unhappy with AFC for siding with the Easterners then I think we from East Asia have even more reason to be outraged that AFC is being controlled by a bunch of Saudi or Qatari or Emitrati princes or kings or some rich guy for their own selfish benefits. Look at the selection of Al Nasr for this yr's World Club Cup fro eg.What is this?1998 winners to go for a 2000 event??Anyway 1999 winners Jubilo are supposed to take part,man.Why the sudden change in the decision by AFC.The only and most obvious reason I can think of,is that AFC has to bow down to pressure from these bunch of Middle Eastern princes and kings and thus be lax more these oil rich fatties' sake. Plus do U think without Saudi's or the Arabian people's pressure,Lebanon would get the host of 2000 Asian Cup?? Right in the view of us Easterners,AFC is being controlled by U-the Arabians and the Saudis(since its widely believed AFC is mostly funded by petroleum $$$ from U people!!)and that has been the problem of making some stupid and controverisal decisions such as the one about Al Nasr. So I wonder what do U have to complain about AFC??U people from Ur region are so rich enough to twist and control AFC such that some decisions are being made in Ur favour.So what the hell are U not happy about AFC?? Let's face it.Even me also felt that AFC isn't fair and probably will never be.Asia is such a damn big continent with diverse places and cultures etc...and there's always a chance that small sub-groups(such as the Arabian gang,Central Asian gang,East Asian gang,SE Asian gang,South Asian gang and so on)will exist within AFC.Realpolitik is the reality in AFC.Everyone knows it.... AFC knows that and it has to do all means to please every geographical or regional gang to maintain some stabilty with its own ranks.More or less,there will be some unjust decisions but I think that's what AFC has to do in order to keep from oil rich people like U to those in the Far East happy. I believed that's the reality.U and I can probably expect some even more 'unjust' decisions in the near future perhaps..... As for the inclusion of South Asian people like Fernandez in the AFC committee,I don't see a big damn fuss as U do.Football in Asia isn't juz about U oil rich Arabian people.Its about EVERY region of Asia.Whether its South Asia or SE Asia or the Central Asia.I think every issue about AFC should involve all people from all regions of Asia whether U are a poor Sri Lankan or an oil rich sultan. If U look at the composition of the AFC committee(if U have the Asian Football mag),I think its pretty well balanced.At least U get to see some Central Asians,SE Asians,East Asians,South Asians,Arabs,Iranians in almost equal numbers.What does this show? And what wrong with Peter Velappan??Juz becos he isn't from your region eh?If our head of AFC is from the Middle East or from Japan....juz imagine what would happen.The rest would probably be thinking that this guy is going to pull AFC into the direction of the Arabians or the Japanese..... I admit some ridiculous scorelines have occured in recent 2-3 yrs.I too like U,am pretty worried scorelines like 15-0s,17-0s,18-0s and now 20-0s would do to Asian soccer.At times I,too like U,also felt a bit ashamed about it.Its juz doesn't help Asia when we are going to host the WC for the 1st time in 2002.It juz doesn't help.I believed even Malta,Cyprus or even the Faroes and Litchenstein can also beat them convincingly if given the chance.. The only way to solve and eliminate these farce is that AFC should have a seeding plan where the weakest sides(Mongolia,Guam,Bhutan,Laos,Cambodia,Pakistan,Sri Lanka,Philippines etc..)should be grouped together and the winnners of that weakest group should go on and play opponents at a next higher level(say Myanmar,Bangladesh,Maldives,Nepal,Macau,Brunei etc...)and so on and so on at a next higher level.I don't know the specifics which must be worked out but I think that should be the idea.AFC would be in a better position to deal with this.It should be applied at both Asian Cup qualifers and World Cup qualifers. As for Ur whining and complaing of teams like Indonesia and Thailand particpating in the last Asian Cup finals,I also had something to say.Since the Asian Cup is for the whole of Asia(not only juz for oil rich Arabian masters),juz as the World Cup is for every part of the World to take part in,I see no mistake to see 2 SE Asian sides in. Indonesia obviously did much better than SE Asia's No 1 side Thailand.They came so close to upsetting Kuwait in the 1st game and managed only 2 goal losses to Korea and UAE,scored 4 goals(including the 1996 goal of the Yr)and U say they are lousy? Vietnam,also one of SE Asia's top sides,may have been knocked out by China but they proved why they deserved to be in second after giving their hearts and fights out in their close 0-2 loss to the Chinese.They have shown how much they have improved since their end of isolation in 1992/1993.They had come a very very very long way since then...... Thailand,under their English coach Peter Wihte,since then had improved tremendously.They were semifinalists in 1998 Asian Games and beat Korea on the way,isn't that enough to show U any potental? Obviously if AFC is going give a region like South Asia one berth,I would gladly support that decision.My firm view is that the Asian Cup finalists should be from every part of the continent and be probably expanded to 13-15 teams.South Asia(1),SE Asia(2),Central Asia(2) and the rest to East(3) or Middle East(5-6) should be the correct formula.And I think its not our or anyone's fault if a country like Qatar or Syria fails to qualify.... India has improved tremendously and tactically as shown in their matches vs UAE and Uzbekistan and in 1998 Asian Games and they obviously deserve a spot in the finals.I strongly expect India(in 2004 event),Indonesia or prehaps even Thailand to spring a surprise or 2 in the Asian Cup this yr. Well if U are to ask me about Indonesia's strength,I think they may not be as good as Saudi,Qatar,Kuwait,UAE or Iraq but I don't think they are as lousy as Palestine or Bhutan.I think they can more or less match up with Jordan or Oman at least,trust me.I think they are probably at the level of the likes of the Baltic states or Moldovia or Macedonia or Cyprus at least.Plus last yr they played 2 friendlies vs Estonia and Lithunia national sides and drew both of them 0-0 and 2-2 with credit. Indonesia is pretty good on offensive and ballskill but my only worry is probably they are a bit small,that's all. All in all,I believed that the gap between the sub-regions,as far as the National Team is concerned,is closing down pretty slowly.Thus I strongly expect each region to have a share of the Asia Cup.Most slots should go to East Asia or Middle East but I think the rest should be distributed evenly between Central Asia,S.Asia and SE Asia. And by the way,as far as Saudi football is concerned,I support Ur arch-rival side Al Ittihad and Al Hilal from Riydah.And my fav national teams are Singapore,South Korea,Brazil and any other Asian side which plays in major World Footballing events.....(for eg,I backed Al Nasr throughout the World Club Cup in Brazil) And by the way I am also a major Asian Football contributor on the S-League.org site.The website is http://www.s-league.org.U can see my nick Aldeayea-Asia Correspondent at the front.I do hoped U can take some time to visit our site and add in a few words through the forum. Sorry for my passionate reply and if I had in any way offended U,I apologise with my heartfelt sincerity.I was just being a bit too frank but I had to tell the truth for we don't want to see Asia lagged too far behind the rest of the World.
My dear Liu, you must understand firstly that I am not a racist. I am not attacking the officials because they are from some certain countries. I attack all of them for their weak dicisions, whether they are from east or west. Also, they do not organize their competitions correctly till now. Yes you might be right for most of what you have said and that makes the Asia FF weak and NOTHING. But, I must tell you also that not only the eastern Asians do what you have said, but to go little back, in 1997, the second stage of World Cup draw, do you know what happened inside the Asia FF. Well, the eastern countries among with Mr. Peter Velappan decided to play the second stage in the one of the eastern countries, without meeting with western countries. So, when all the teams met, the western countries were surprised for the decision which were taken without informaing them. You see now the problem in the Asia FF. I am not against Thailand, yes they have a strong side, but the rest of SE Asia are absolutely weak. About Lebanon, it is nothing to do with money or something, there were votes and they won. But it is really strange idea to say to divide the Asian teams to geographical groups, that is mean we will have weak teams in the finals and that has nothing to do with rich and oil as you see. Probably you might have some problems with our oil. You live in a rich country too. So develop your football too. My final word, I hoped that you didn't send an e-mail with a subject of "SHUT UP". I appreciate any comments but we must respect each other.
Marwan Al-Zaabi - U.A.E. (10 Feb. 2000)
Hi Again. It has been a while. Well, I'd like to give my comment about our UAE soccer league. i think this league is one of the weirdest and unstable leagues in the world. Al Ahli that represented us badly in the gulf tournament beat al wahda. Al Wasl who was keeping at the top for the first 4 or 5 rounds get beaten easily but the Emirates,God bless their team. Al ain and al sha'ab games vary from a week to another. Do we know what team gonna take the lead at the end.. The answer is No.. it's so weird .. I am not sure weather this unstabilty. Does it show that UAE league is so on fire and it's gonna lead for the sake of UAE national team.. Or it shows an unplanned strategy for the UAE football in the future. that's why the games are weird and funny....And i hope my first opinion is right and i hope it serves UAE national team inshallah ....
Well, all I can say "This Is A Crazy Football". But to be honest I like it in this way.
Marwan Al-Zaabi - U.A.E. (17 Oct. 1999)
Lately, we have been talking alot about the Asian F.F. forgetting to focus more on our local federations in our countries. I am not saying that Asia FF is not a big same on our soccer today. However, we should fix our local soccer systems and that include federations, coaches and players. In order for us to improve our poor soccer continent, we have to get back on our feet by ourselves without depending on our Asia FF, because they won't do anything for us. So, we have to prove to FIFA individually first that we are worth places in World Cup.
It is really good idea from you Marwan. But what shall I do if our Federations do not want to improve themselves too. Also, the I don't think that FIFA will look to the federations individually. They only look at the continent.
Andrew Hsieh - USA (10 Oct. 1999)
I think you're not giving Asian football as much credit as it is due. The Saudi team's losses, after all, were to the strongest opposition it could possibly have gotten. Mexico, Brazil, and the USA respectively, placed first, second and third. There's no shame in losing to the three best teams in the tournament.
Ok I may agree in some of your points but I am blaming the Asia FF for not developing football in Asia, and blaming the Asia FF officials who are really weak in the international media. Also, in God's sake, what the president of Asia FF has to do with football. I am telling you that non of the officials has football mind.
Maher Busedra - Canada (09 Sep. 1999)
This is so stupid, Libya was the best in Arab Pan Games. It just that last match I knew something had to go wrong. The Arab FF's have no rights to take out or dismissed al-Ahli of Benghazi from the Arab CWC and al-Mahalla from the Champions' Cup and let Mauritania Airlines qualify instead of al-Ahli of Benghazi. This is so stupid and anyway Mauritania Airlines will probably withdrew at the last second before the tournament starts. Doesn't the Arab FF want better competition, well al-Ahli of Benghazi is much stronger than Mauritania Airlines. Honestly, Mauritania Airlines have no experience in football. There is a very slim chance of them qualifying to the second round. They should give the Libyan fans another chance, just when the Libyans were happy that football came back to their country, the Arab FF had come up withh an excuse to screw it up. Well thats all I can say, everytime I talk about the Arab FF I get angry, because they really don't know how to set things up.
There will be no chance at all for this team which called Mauritania Airlines (funny name) to qualify to the semi-finals. Tell you something may be the Arab FF are very sure that the fans who made all this trouble things in Amman were al-Ahli fans. Well, I think we have a very funny FF.
Maher Busedra - Canada (05 Sep. 1999)
The Competition that you told me about that includes Libya, Syria, and that another useless team is a good example of why Asia teams can't get stronger. U.A.E. probably invited Libya because Libya beat them in the Arab Games, and they invited Syria because U.A.E. beat them, and why the heck did they invite that team?! Come on, if they want to improve they should invite strong teams. Even clubs like Esperance of Tunisia or Morocco or Egypt ...etc. Even if they lose its ok, if they keep playing tough teams they will eventually get there, and everyone blames the coach and the officials, here is a good example, right here.
The other team is Turkmenistan. What I have said that we didn't receive any confirmation yet from these FA's. I'm afraid that you have a very narrow mind to think that in way that UAE FA invited Libya because they beat us. It has nothing to do with that. In general, The Libyan did well in Pan Games, so it would be better to call them. About Syria, I think their team is not bad, and we think that they will accept the invitation. Now why Turkmenistan?! For very easy reason; First, we will play Uzbekistan in Asia qualification match, and in general they play same style. We don't need to call the big teams for this friendly tournament, because we will play very week teams in our group, except Uzbekistan. Also, UAE have a new squad and we don't have a coach yet. So, we don't want to take any risk and let our players and fans down.
Osama Mohammed Abdulla - (28 Aug. 1999)
You are right about the UAE coach... Those FA members should be changed.
I hope to hear mor points of view from you about the subject. The good thing that many people agree with this point.
(Anonymous) - (25 Aug. 1999)
Mr. Mohammed, I would like to tell you that our national team is going from bad to worse. Do you know why?.. because we have been living in a lie since 1990, and when ever we lose we blame the couch (who else!!) Well, I know that the problem is not the couch, but it is from the players and the FA. Our Football Association never took a positive move from the beginning till now. Even the forign players we had to follow the other countries after many years. Simply, the people in the FA don't seem to follow what is happening in the world, and still they are thinking about what seem to be the problem. The players should be responsible too. We have to forget that old mentality that players are not professional, because even if they are not pro's they still represent the country and that is a shame. Well, we lost another coach and we will lose another and the story goes on......
I am sure that there are so many people think in the way we are thiniking. The problem always come from the FA and I will add journalists. Tell me please, can any journalist critisize the FA or the players? Of course they can't, for one reason that they are not UAE nationalities, which is mean they are afraid to say something like that. It iss something very obvious to every one. Well, let us see who will be the next head.
Abdulla Shahin - (20 Aug. 1999)
I would like to thank you first for the effort you have put in this page. This page is clearly the best page hands down. I like your take on the Asian teams that they shouuldn't have 4 full places in the World Cup. Do you know why? because we are not that good right now. We might think that we are good and almost like African teams but the fact are not. Tell me when was the last time an Asian team gave a good performance in the World Cup. The Saudis did it in 1994, and the FIFA gave them their rights by giving Asia more seats in the following World Cup, but the FIFA saw that Asia is not improving at all. We have to improve the soccer in Asia, and you know that I don't think Japan and South Korea care about the soccer in Asia. They care about themselves only. So, I think the Asian Football Federation should change some of the people in it, and West Asia should be given more attention. Just like Europe, if you are strong that means you will have special treatment in the UEFA Cups. I can talk to you all day about this subject but I have to go now. Ohh, by the way, I think that the Arab Competitions are good only for the olympic teams, so it should be Olympic Tournament thats it. Take care.
First of all, Thanks indeed for your words to my page. I have said that 4 places for Asia is more than enough in World Cup. About the Asia FF must change some of their people, I would say they all must leave the FF, non of them are good for this job, especially Peter Pelipan. We will never forget what he has done against us in the west when he joined with football federations of the east countries during the World Cup draw final round in 1997. He agreed with them to let the final round to be played in the East Asia for very obvious reason, and without meeting with the Western Asia football federations. How do you think that our football will be improved with people like this.
Marwan al-Zaabi - U. A. E. (08 Aug. 1999)
I'd like to comment about the issue that has been discussed lately which is if Asia deserves places in World Cup. As far as we know, Asia has been representing us very badly whenever they played in the World Cup, we exclude the Saudis and what great wins they did in 94, and it's hard to be done these days by the Saudis or any other teams. I think that having more than 3 teams in World Cup will risk more of our football reputation (we don't have a good one anyways). It's just we have to be patient and be satisfied of what the FIFA gives us, and we don't have to try to convince the FIFA now, but we have to convince our confederations to work hard and improve. We don't want more losses. Let's work hard alone and let's try to avoid as manylosses as we can before the World Cup prevents us from not having any participant at all.
At last I have some one who agrres with me. Yes you right, we have to take care of us first.
Nezar Abdul-Kareem - Saudi Arabia (08 Aug. 1999)
Thank you for your page, it seems that you do a lot of good work, keep it. I am a Saudi that temporarily lives in USA, believe me that only way to know sport news in Saudi and the Gulf countries is from your page, again a lot of thanks for you.
Regarding Asia representation in the worl cup, I totally believe that they deserve at least five places if not more. My friend do remember that only one team out of thirty two teams will take the championship regardless if Asia represented by four or five teams. This is a world tournament, there should be a fair representation from all over the world. Having asia with five places is not going to prevent any good team from qualification. In addition, allowing Asia more places will greatly help in creating a strong competition that will enhance this sport in Asia.
I do agree that Asia need 5 places or more, but not at this time. We are still week in football. Actually, FIFA don't look to football as we do in Asia. They look the system which says "how not how many". Now if we go back to World Cup 1998, we had 4 teams there and non of them qualified to the second round, and I am afraid this will continue happening in the next World Cup. Here in Asia FF the officials still do not know how to make our football better and strong. The FIFA message is very clear that they don't look at the population of any continent or the number of countries, but they look at the standard of football in each continent.
Yousef al-Dukhayyil - Saudi Arabia (03 Aug. 1999)
Sorry for saying that you are against Saudi team. You always write your comment when the Saudi team is defeated. Where is your comment when the Saudi team defeated the Egypt team? Also, don't forget that Brazil is the best team in the world even if they did not bring most of their best players. I knew why you are against the Saudi team, because you remembered the last two tournament that are held in UAE (Gulf Cup and Asia Cup) both cups were taken from the Emarati team by the Saudi team. Next time be honest and try to comment in every situation not when the Saudi team is defeated.
My dear friend, it seems to me that you didn't read my comment when Saudi beat Egypt. I did write about it, and I said what a great win for Saudis! I do not want any Saudi to understand that I am against their team. Not at all. I do not blame your team to be defeated by Mexico 5-1 and against Brazil 8-2 and today against U.S.A 2-0. I blame the Asia FF. If we have a strong Federation and strong competitions in our continent, believe me we will have very strong teams in Asia. Why you have a strong team, because you have strong League. That is why we have poor football in Asia because we don't have strong competitions. Do you agree with me that Indonesia is deserve to qualify to Asia finals? That is what I meant ya Abu-Nawaf. I hope to hear from you again.
Thanks indeed Marwan for your comment. You are right football is round and so the life. Although the Saudi football is the only profesional football in our area but it is still that they cannot beat the Gulf teams easily. But, still saying that Saudi Arabia is the strongest team in Asia and their League is the best in the Arab World.
First of all great great great victory for Saudis. They deserve it. Well do I still believe that Asian teams are still poor! well yes still I do believe and still insist we don't deserve another place.
First of all, I am not Yemeni at all.
Unfortunately, you did not understand what I meant. My point is that Asian football is very very weak. We don't deserve to have another full place in in World Cup 2002. I think 4 full place is enough. Also, what I meant that the officials must be changed in Asia Football Federation. They do not know how to develop our football till now.
I have nothing against Saudi Arabia or any team in the World. I do admit that Saudi arabia is the strongest team in the Gulf and in Asia, and their football League is the best in the Arab world. I'm just critisizing our football standard in Asia. That is all I meant.
About my English, I am sorry for that but I hope it is understandable, and I will be careful next time.