Europa champs won't come for friendlies in August

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Europa champions Atletico Madrid will not come for friendly matches in Vietnam in August as planned.

Tiago, representative of Atletico Madrid in Vietnam, has told Thanh Nien that the Spanish top-tier La Liga club will go to Thailand instead after a visit to Shanghai.

Tiago, who is the son of Henrique Calisto, Vietnam's football team coach, said the Spanish club made the change of destination because the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and T&T Group took too long to reply.

Atletico Madrid had been waiting for a reply from VFF as well as T&T Group since November 2009, according to Tiago.

Tiago said that after receiving no response from T&T Group, he accepted an offer from Vu Tien Thanh, general director of Saigon Gia Dinh Company, who wanted to invite Atletico Madrid to Vietnam.

However, Thanh then withdrew his offer because he couldn't come to an agreement with VFF over sponsorship, he said.

VFF Vice Chairman Nguyen Lan Trung said, "We really wanted to organize a match between Vietnam's national football team and Atletico Madrid but VFF can't pay VND9 billion [for organizing the match]. We are afraid we won't be able to get money back from ticket sales and we can't afford to run at a loss."

Trung added that during a meeting with the Spanish ambassador to Vietnam, Fernando Curcio Ruigómez on Monday, the ambassador said that the European Champions League winner Barcelona would come to Vietnam for a friendly match in the near future.

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