Chelsea, English Premier League title contenders, have announced a mini-tour of Asia in the 2008 off-season, but said they may have to cancel the Malaysian leg if Avram Grant, the club’s Israeli manager, is not allowed into the country.


Malaysia does not have diplomatic ties with Israel, and its citizens, including coach Grant and defender Tal Ben Haim, need to obtain special permission to travel to the South East Asian nation.

“We really do not anticipate that to be a problem. We think it can be solved,” Kenyon said.

However he indicated the London club could be forced to cancel the Malaysian visit if Grant and Ben Haim were indeed banned from entering the country.

“We clearly could not travel without our top coach. This [tour] is a critical part of training for the 2008-2009 season,” Kenyon told AFP.

“It will make no sense to travel without a key member of the coaching staff.”