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The Asian Football Confederation are optimistic a compromise can be reached in their ongoing dispute with Manchester United.

AFC president Mohamed bin Hammam met United chief executive David Gill and Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards in Malaysia on Wednesday in an attempt to end the stand-off over the Barclays Premiership champions' planned tour of the continent.

The confederation want United to reschedule their July 27 match in Kuala Lumpur because of fears it will detract from the finals of the July 7-29 AFC Asian Cup.

"I really appreciate the gesture that David Gill and Sir Dave Richards have displayed by coming here to AFC House to meet face to face to discuss this issue," bin Hammam said.

"We have presented our case to Manchester United and fully explained our position.

"At the end of the day, we have not left any stone unturned to seek a solution amicably, and we very much hope that we can all seek a compromise to protect the interests of the AFC Asian Cup 2007 and the development of Asian football.

"We have made the request, and we shall await the response."

Gill and Richards left the meeting, which lasted more than two hours, without making a comment.

Bin Hammam's statement reiterated the AFC's stance that the Malaysian government and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) have a "contractual obligation" not to host another football competition during the Asian Cup.

Malaysia are joint hosts of the tournament, along with Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

After initially accepting the AFC's stand, the FAM then insisted on hosting United after Malaysian prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he wants the match to be part of the celebrations for Malaysia's 50th anniversary of independence from Britain.

Bin Hammam has previously said United's planned tour - which also includes Japan, South Korea and Macau - is "immoral", as it would compete with the 16-nation Asian Cup for spectators and television viewers.
 
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