Qualifiers to kick off at same time

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 October, 2004, 12:00am

The Asian Football Confederation has announced that next month's World Cup qualifiers in Guangzhou and Kuwait City will kick-off simultaneously.

The Group Four deciders between China and Hong Kong and Kuwait and Malaysia - from which only one of the two home teams currently separated by goal difference can qualify - have become a bone of contention since an Oriental Sports Daily editorial suggesting China remind Hong Kong that 'blood is thicker than water' made headlines. 'With the simultaneous kick-off, we hope to provide teams with a level playing field,' claimed AFC general secretary Peter Velappan, who is proposing a 9pm start in Guangzhou and a 4pm start in Kuwait.