Host Vietnam has a good draw at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Futsal (indoor football) Championships to be held on April 30-May 10.

The draw made in Ho Chi Minh City on February 23 placed the country in Group A along with Kuwait, Tajikistan, and Iraq.

"The draw is fair and balanced; I think Vietnam have a good draw," Alex Soosay, general secretary of the AFC, said when asked to comment on the draw at a press conference later.

Sharing this view, Tran Anh Tu, chairman of the HCM City Football Federation and member of the AFC Futsal and Beach Soccer Committee, showed his optimism about the country’s chances of going beyond the group stage.

"We know well about Kuwait and we once beat them in 2012. But Tajikistan and Iraq are foreign to us. If we can play at our best, we can completely finish in the top eight,” he said.

But Vietnam 's captain, Nguyen Bao Quan, was more wary: "We have played teams from the Middle East many times and they are very good technically and tactically. They enjoy the advantage of height and strength as well."

The experienced Quan will be one of the keys to Vietnam 's success.

Group B features 10-time champs Iran , Australia , China , and Indonesia , while Group C comprises Thailand , Lebanon , Chinese Taipei, and Malaysia .

Soosay said: "Group B promises to produce interesting matches as we have three strong teams. While Iran is a multiple-time champion, Australia and China are stronger than ever."

Group D has defending champions Japan , Kyrgyzstan , Uzbekistan , and the Republic of Korea .

"Defending champion Japan is expected to face strong competition from the rest of the group," Soosay said.

" Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have made great efforts to develop futsal. The Republic of Korea also showed considerable progress and have something to prove this time around."

Vietnam will host the event for the second time after the first one in 2005.-VNA