Courtesy: The AFC.comChampions Iran to miss DaneshvarThursday, 24 May 2012
Dubai: Asian futsal powerhouse Iran suffered a huge blow ahead of their bid to retain the AFC Futsal Championship crown following striker Masoud Daneshvar absence due to injury.
Daneshvar, who was Iran's second best scorer in the last edition of the championship in Uzbekistan, failed to travel to Dubai due to persistent back injury.
Daneshvar had netted 11 goals including a brace in Iran’s 8-3 win over Uzbekistan in the final.
“He sustained back injury some two months ago while playing the last match of the domestic league for champions Sanaye Giti Pasand,” said Iran futsal committee chairman Abbas Torabian who is leading the team in Dubai for the 12th edition of the Asian Futsal Championship.
“He was determined to make it to the UAE but finally the doctor asked him to take complete rest and we decided to come here without him,” Torabian added. The 24-year old Giti Pasand star was registered in the preliminary squad for Iran.
The defending champions are in one the toughest groups featuring Australia, Korea Republic and Qatar. Iran will take on Korea Republic on Friday at Al Shabab Stadium.
Courtesy: The AFC.com'Huge experience' excites EmiratisThursday, 24 May 2012
Dubai: With all the planning and preparation in place Ahmed Mahmood admits that the UAE players can't wait to take to the court when the AFC Futsal Championship hosts make their finals debut against Turkmenistan on Friday.
The UAE go into their Group A opener in confident mood having recorded morale-boosting wins over fellow competitors Qatar (5-3) and Tajikistan (4-0) following a productive training camp in Turkey and Mahmood revealed that his team-mates are relishing the opportunity to show just how far the team has come in the indoor game.
"For us this is a huge experience and we are all very excited," the 33-year-old said at Thursday's pre-tournament press conference.
"We will try to do our best in this tournament to prove that the UAE is doing well in futsal.
"The players are all very excited and can't wait for the first game to start. Everyone wants to play in this tournament and all the players are ready for the challenge and aim to prove that during tomorrow's game."
The host nation go into the match at what is expected to be a packed Al Wasl arena – where Mahmood plays his club futsal – against a Turkmenistan side that is no stranger to the AFC Futsal Championship having participated in the last five tournaments.
They have, however, failed to get beyond the Group Stage on every occasion and having received direct entry to the UAE 2012 after the Maldives' decision to withdraw from the Central and South Asian qualifiers Turkmenistan were denied the opportunity for some valuable competitive match practice.
"We are very happy to be here again in the finals of this tournament and we know that all the games in this group will be very tough for us," remarked Turkmenistan coach Guvanch Kanayev.
The UAE's match against Turkmenistan kicks-off at 1800 local time and will be streamed live on www.the-afc.com
Courtesy: The AFC.comThais eyes on global stageThursday, 24 May 2012
Dubai: The AFC Futsal Championship UAE 2012 will give Thailand an ideal opportunity to gauge the strength of their squad as the South East Asian powerhouse prepares to welcome the planet's best futsal nations at November's FIFA Futsal World Cup Team Manager Suttipun Wanwinwes said.
Speaking at the pre-tournament press-conference ahead of the 2008 runners-up opening fixture against Kyrgyzstan Suttipun said it was in Thailand's best interest to give the best account of themselves as possible in Dubai with the global showcase just six months away.
"We will be looking to have a good tournament as many people back in Thailand will want to see how we are getting on in preparation for the World Cup in November," he said.
Having eased through the ASEAN region's qualifying campaign undefeated the Thais repeated the feat at the AFF Futsal Championship, scoring an incredible 94 times to reclaim their regional title which they lost Vietnam two years earlier.
But Suttipun is well aware that there is quite a gulf in class between regional and continental level and with April's defeat at home to Group A rivals Turkmenistan still fresh in the mind he is not reading too much into the Thais dominance of the ASEAN game.
"We have come to Dubai in the hope that we will do the best that we can. We have worked very hard in the build-up to this tournament and have won two tournaments but they were only for teams in the South East Asian region.
"Once we found out our opponents in Group A we began following the teams and we can see what a great job the UAE have done. We have played Turkmenistan recently in Bangkok and they beat us so we know they will be strong competitors in the group and we have to be careful."
And the Thais will certainly be wary of Friday's opponents at the Al Wasl Stadium.
One of the more consistent performers in Asian futsal in recent years, Kyrgyzstan are the perennial dark horses of the AFC Futsal Championship having reached the semi-finals on three consecutive occasions.
The Central Asians are vastly experienced competitors having taken part in every AFC Futsal Championship since the tournament's inception in 1999 but having been granted an automatic berth in the Finals following the cancellation of the Central and South Asian Zone qualifiers the Kyrgyz may lack competitive match sharpness in Dubai.
"We may not have Iran or Japan but for sure our group will be very difficult as all the teams in our group are about even," Kyrgyzstan head coach Amirzhan Mukanov remarked.
Thailand's match against Kyrgyzstan kicks-off at 2030 local time and will be streamed live on www.the-afc.com
Courtesy: The AFC.comSpanish coaches aim for ideal startThursday, 24 May 2012
Dubai: Two Spanish tacticians will be gunning for an ideal kick-start of the AFC Futsal Championship 2012 campaign when Uzbekistan take on Kuwait at the lunch-time match at Al Shabab Indoor Stadium on Friday.
Both the sides are relatively unknown to each other but the Spanish coaches know each other more than any other coaches of the participating teams.
“We have played together many times in Spanish League and we know each other very well,” Uzbekistan coach Pazos Mandez Jose Maria said about fellow Spaniard Fonseca Cilleros – the coach of Kuwait.
“With such a master technician, I am sure Kuwait is very strong opposition just like other countries of this Group D. We are informed that Kuwait have prepared really well for this tournament and so are we.
“We have been studying them and we have our own strategies so hopefully it will be an interesting match,” said the coach of the 2010 runners-up Uzbekistan.
Kuwait, who finished second in the West Zone qualifiers after going down 3-2 in the final against Qatar, have been preparing for the tournament since past three months and coach Fonseca believes that the team have been assembled well and is capable to give a good fight to any of the opponent in the competition.
“I know the philosophy of the coach and the strength of Uzbekistan and respect the Uzbeks as one of the toughest opponents in the group,” he said echoing his Spanish counterpart Pazos.
“I am sure our boys will try their best and get things right,” he added.
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari