Full Draw Released For Asian Cup 2007

Australia’s full draw for the AFC Asian Cup 2007 has been released following the draw yesterday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the first home game scheduled for March 1 against Lebanon.

Australia-s full draw for the AFC Asian Cup 2007 has been released following the draw yesterday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the first home game scheduled for March 1 against Lebanon. However Australia, along with Asia-s other four representatives at this year-s World Cup, have been offered the opportunity by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to postpone these games until later in the year. The full draw is: 22-02-06 - Bahrain v Australia 01-03-06 - Australia v Lebanon* 16-08-06 - Australia v Kuwait 06-09-06 - Kuwait v Australia 11-10-06 - Australia v Bahrain 15-11-06 - Lebanon v Australia * Match could be postponed to September 1, if Australia accepts AFC offer to World Cup participants. Head of the FFA High Performance Unit, Mr John Boultbee said the FFA will make a decision on the March 1 in the next few days. “We are still assessing our view,” said Boultbee, from Kuala Lumpur, after the draw. We need to speak to Guus Hiddink and he is getting back to us tonight on his view. “We-ll be making an announcement on what we will be doing with that (game) in the next few days.” However of more concern for Boultbee and Hiddink is the scheduled first game on February 22 against Bahrain, which falls outside of FIFA-s international calendar and clashes with the European Champions League, UEFA Cup and league games scheduled on the same night, ruling out a host of first choice players for the important game, as clubs do not have to release players. Asked if he thought there was any chance of getting that game moved, Boultbee didn-t hold out much hope. “The only chance is if Bahrain agreed. We have raised it with them and they have to discuss within their committee of course. “I not sure that I can see any advantage to them to agree, so we are going to work on the basis that the match will go ahead on February 22nd, but if we can postpone it, well and good. “We have to now talk to the clubs of the players and work out what best we can do for that 22nd February date. Bahrain is a strong opponent and we would not want to prejudice our opportunity of winning that match. “It-s one we need to get under our belt,” he added.   Boultbee, who was the former Head of the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, said he had spoken with the delegation-s from both Kuwait and Bahrain after the draw and were excited by the prospect of playing against us. “We have spoken to the Kuwaiti-s and the Bahrain delegation and they are excited about the prospect (of playing us). “I think at the draw here, everybody was hoping they avoided Australia, because as a tier-four nation we could make a very difficult group. But they have not complained and the Bahraini-s have particularly said they are looking forward to playing us.”

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