Indonesia and East Timor yesterday quit the competition, making the number eight instead of ten participants in the 2007 Asian Football Federation (AFF) Under-20 Championship taking place in Ho Chi Minh City from July 31 to August 13.
Viet Nam's U-20 football team
“The two withdrawing teams forced us to draw the remainder again for the group phrase. The competition, in addition, will finish three days sooner. I believe the tournament without the two teams will still be eventful as strong sides including Viet Nam, Thailand, Malaysia and Laos stay,” Vice President He Ravy Khek of the AFF told the reporter.
He also added that the reason for the withdrawals will be announced in an AFF meeting on August 12. As the result of yesterday evening’s draw, Viet Nam will vie with Cambodia, Thailand and Brunei in Group B while Malaysia, Singapore, Laos and Myanmar will compete with each other in Group A.
The host side and Thailand look on course to advance to the semifinals as the remainder are underdog. Viet Nam’s coach Nguyen Manh Cuong, however, does not expect an easy ride for his side, “We ensure nothing until taking part in the matches. I think my boys will have a chance to learn to be tougher from the international competition”.
Thailand counterpart Kawin Kachendecha, meanwhile, said that he had only three weeks to prepare for the event but affirmed his team are the best youth team of Thailand.