Dempo, East Bengal clubbed with tough West Asians in 2008 AFC Cup

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Kuala Lumpur, Dec 17 (UNI) National League champions Dempo and Federation Cup winners East Bengal were clubbed along with tough West Asian opponents in the group stages of 2008 AFC Cup in the draws announced here today.

Dempo were drawn in Group A along with Oman outfit Sur, Al Ansar of Lebanon and 2006 AFC Cup runners-up Al Muharraq of Bahrain.

East Bengal were pooled in Group B along with Ahli Sana'a of Yemen, Lebanon's Safa and Jordan's Al Wihdat in the AFC's second tier club competition.

In Group C were holders Shabab Al Ordun of Jordan in company of Oman champions Al Nahda, Al Najma of Bahrain and Shaab Hadramaout of Yemen.

In the East half of the draw, Singapore's Home United, semi-finalists in the inaugural AFC Cup, have been pooled in Group D with Hong Kong's South China, Malaysian champions Kedah and Victory, who were denied a hat-trick of Maldives league titles by New Radiant.

New Radiant, who reached the last four of the 2005 AFC Cup, face Singapore Armed Forces, Kitchee from Hong Kong and Malaysia's other representatives Perak in Group E.

India was the first country drawn and Dempo were the first club out of the hat in the draw.

West: Group A: Dempo (India); Sur (Oman); Al Ansar (Lebanon); Al Muharraq (Bahrain) Group B: East Bengal (India), Al Ahli Sana'a (Yemen); Safa (Lebanon); Al Wihdat (Jordan) Group C: Shabab Al Ordun (Jordan); Al Nahda (Oman); Al Najma (Bahrain); Shaab Hadramaout (Yemen) East: Group D: Home United (Singapore); South China (Hong Kong); Kedah (Malaysia); Victory (Maldives) Group E: New Radiant (Maldives); Singapore Armed Forces (Singapore), Kitchee (Hong Kong); Perak (Malaysia) UNI

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