The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Velappan miffed at European overdose

Busan: Asian football chief Peter Velappan said on Tuesday that live television coverage of European football is slowing the growth of the game in the region.

Velappan is considering a plea to Fifa to stop the saturation coverage of English, Spanish and Italian matches via satellite television.

Velappan said he hoped companies broadcasting the Premiership and Champions League in Asia would eventually start showing more football from the region.

“We (the AFC) have nothing against foreign football but there is a limit and we have reached it,” he said. “Satellite broadcasters like ESPN should have an obligation to Asian football as they broadcast to the continent. They must remember they are in Asia.

“The coverage is nearly all European football and we have to move to cut it back.”

Velappan said that associations in Hong Kong and Thailand had written to the AFC pointing out that televised matches from Europe were hindering efforts to promote their local leagues. “We are looking for a bit of goodwill and co-operation from the broadcasters so as the expansion of Asian football is not slowed,” Velappan said.

He added that if the television companies did not cut down on live matches from Europe, and increase the coverage of the Asian game, he would ask Fifa to act.

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