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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul, 28, 2006

Lebanon asked to move games from Beirut

SYDNEY, July 28 (Reuters) - Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohammed bin Hammam has told Lebanon to move their Asian Cup qualifiers to a neutral venue if the safety of visiting teams is at risk because of the conflict between Israel and Hizbollah.

Bin Hammam told reporters in Australia on Friday that he was hopeful Lebanon's two remaining home qualifiers would proceed as scheduled but said he had told the country's football association they may have to find a safer venue.

Lebanon are due to host Bahrain on September 6 Iin Beirut then Australia on November 15 after the AFC ruled out any prospect of the match dates being changed.

'We are communicating with the Lebanese FA,' Bin Hammam told a news conference.

'These matches will not be postponed but the safety and security of the teams is of paramount concern.

'If the situation is not calm in Lebanon they will have to find another venue for that.'

Australia said they were still hoping to travel to Beirut as planned but would follow the AFC's recommendation.

'That's certainly our intention, and we'll be taking advice and guidance from the AFC on that,' Football Federation of Australia chief executive John O'Neill said.

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