Malaysia won't back World Cup boycott

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 (Reuter) - Malaysia's ruling soccer
body will not support Asia's tentative boycott of the 2002
World Cup over an extra berth, a Malaysian newspaper said on
"We will not agree to a boycott," the New Straits Times
daily quoted Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) deputy
president Prince Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah as saying.
Ironically, FAM president Sultan Ahmad Shah is also
president of the Kuala Lumpur-based regional ruling soccer
body, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Sultan Ahmad Shah, who is Prince Abdullah's father, led a
walkout at the FIFA congress in Los Angeles on July 9 in
protest over the allocation of four berths for Asia in the 2002
Asia has threatened to boycott the World Cup to be jointly
hosted by Japan and South Korea if it is not given an extra
automatic berth.
"While FAM fully supports the quest for a fifth berth, we
feel that an amicable solution can be reached between the good
offices of the Sultan and FIFA president Sepp Blatter," Prince
Abdullah said.
Sultan Ahmad Shah told the same newspaper that Asia's
request for a fifth berth was fair.
"Our request for one more place is fair and as such, both
FIFA and AFC are looking into ways to find a solution. If there
can be co-hosts for the first time, it is also possible to give
Asia five places instead of four," Sultan Ahmad Shah was quoted
as saying.

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