AFC 2007 Asian Cup Kicks Off in Indonesia And Malaysia And Vietnam And Thailand!
The 14th AFC Asian Cup takes place over July (7th to 29th), hosted for the first time jointly by Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. The tournament, run by the Asian Football Confederation Sixteen features 16 teams, following similar tournament formats of the group stage, followed by a knock-out quarters and semis leading to the final itself.
Teams have come through from earlier qualification fixtures to take part in the contest, which for most teams is the highest level of international tournament football they achieve. The teams competing in this year’s AFC Asian Cup are Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China PR, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Iran, Japan and South Korea. Australia are taking part for the first time, and are seen as the clear tournament favourites even before the match ball had been kicked, but as ever in international tournaments, the “lower” teams could easily produce a shock and dump the preening socceroos out early doors! Early results back this up as Australia struggled to draw with Oman in their opening fixture having been totally outplayed, although their quality should see them through the group stage.
For European football fans, and football boots fans, the chance to watch unknown players representing their countries with pride and passion outweighs the developing skills levels and lack of quality matches, and the initial games have already produced a feast on exciting football, with an amazing array of new football boots on display to boot – we’ve already seen lots more Mizuno, Lotto and Diadora football boots than we are used to!
Understanding the reach and potential of the tournament, Asia encompasses 60% of the world’s population, global sportswear giant Nike have dipped in their pocket to sponsor the match ball – the first time ever that a ball had been launched specifically for any football competition in Asia. The Nike Mercurial Veloci AC features four blue stripes with gold trim with each host city’s name inscribed, as well as the AFC Asian Cup logo.
Footy Boots have picked the mighty Vietnam as our team of the tournament- so keep an eye for key players like Huynh Quang Thanh, wearing new blue Adidas Predator Absolute football boots, and striker Le Cong Vinh, wearing Lotto football boots, as Vietnam go for glory!