Last updated : 08 May 2007 By editor

'FIFA president Sepp Blatter has thrown his weight behind calls for Manchester United to look again at this summer's controversial tour of Asia.

'The newly-crowned Premier League champions have caused uproar by scheduling their visit to the continent to coincide with the running of the quadrennial Asian Cup, which will be co-hosted by Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand in July.

'Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed bin Hammam launched a scathing attack on the English champions yesterday and Blatter has backed demands for United to reconsider.

'"The Asian Cup is on a date reserved for competitions for the confederations and they should also be respected by clubs who are touring in the same region where these competitions are taking place.

'"I would personally appeal to the club, to the associations, but also to the organisers in the different countries. We have an opportunity for solidarity for football."