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The candidates are:



Saudi Arabia


United Arab Emirates


The host will be decided in June 2014. Lot of Middle East flavor to choose from. China and Malaysia had shown interest but backed out.

I hope bid winner should be Saudi or Kuwait or Oman.They've never hosted before. :)

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  • 3 months later...

Revamp of AFC competitions

Muscat: In order to provide more number of international matches to Member Associations, the AFC Competitions Committee has decided to revamp the confederation’s national team competitions.

The committee, which met on the sidelines of the AFC U-22 Championship on Saturday, also decided to simplify the assessment criteria for participation in AFC club competitions.

Addressing the committee members, AFC President Shaikh Salman Ebrahim Al Khalifa urged the Member Associations to adhere the changes that are proposed in the meeting.

“Competitions are the main products of AFC and I am happy that it is in the good hands,” said AFC President.

“We must market our product and generate income to sustain football across the continent.

“I am sure that the changes that happen will have big impact in Asian football and will benefit our Member Associations,” he added.

Under the new format, Asia’s showpiece event – AFC Asian Cup – will have 24 teams in the tournament proper instead of 16. The 2014 AFC Challenge Cup, to be held in Maldives in May this year, will be the last edition of this competition.

Furthermore, the qualification rounds for FIFA World Cup qualifiers and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers will be merged for the preliminary round. Depending on the number of entries, the Member Associations will be divided into eight groups after preliminary stages. The eight group winners and four second best teams will qualify for the FIFA World Cup final round of qualifiers and also the AFC Asian Cup finals. Presently, only ten teams battle it out in the final round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The next best 24 teams from the preliminary qualification round (24 teams) will compete for the remaining slots in the AFC Asian Cup finals in six groups of four teams each.

The final round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers will be separated.

Looking at the growing interest of MAs to participate in the next tier of AFC’s club competitions, the assessment criteria has been simplified.

The committee decided to rank the Member Associations based on their national teams and clubs’ performance over last four years in AFC competitions. Thirty per cent of points will be allocated for national teams’ performances while seventy per cent for the clubs’ showings.

Upon confirmation of the rankings, the MAs ranked 1 to 24 will be eligible to receive direct slots in the AFC Champions League. Apart from being in the top 24, the MAs will have fulfil club licensing criteria, have integrity programmes within the MA, organisation of professional league and its governance, facilities as required in the regulations and sound supporting system for logistical matters.

The MAs ranked 25 to 32 will be eligible to participate in AFC Cup group stage while MAs ranked 33 to 47 will be provided with an opportunity to play in AFC Cup playoff stage.

The assessment will be carried out in 2014 and will be applied for 2015 and 2016 while the assessment of 2016 will be applied for 2017 to 2020.

The meeting was chaired by the AFC Competitions Committee chairman and the President of United Arab Emirates Football Association (UAEFA) Yousuf Al Serkal. All decisions of this committee need to be ratified by the AFC Executive Committee to take effect.


No Oman bid for 2019 Asian Cup

Muscat: In a surprise move, the Oman Football Association (OFA) has cancelled plans to bid to host the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Speaking to the media during a press conference held in Seeb yesterday, Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi, chairman of OFA, said the board made its decision to give a chance to the 'brotherly and friendly nations' who are also bidding for the continental championship.

From the GCC, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are bidding for the 2019 tournament, while Iran and Thailand are also seeking to host the championship.

"We have decided not to bid in order to give way to our friendly and brotherly nations who will then have the chance to host the tournament," Sayyid Khalid said.

The OFA chief also reiterated that the government had given its support for the bid, but the board decided not to proceed further.

"The government gave us all the support for the bid, in writing, but there are times when you have to take some strange decisions. We are thankful to AFC for giving us the platform to contest," he said.

The decision from OFA comes after Oman successfully hosted the AFC U-22 Championship this month.

"We have received appreciation from all quarters, including the AFC chief and heads of other associations, for our efforts in successfully hosting the championship. I must thank our volunteers, stakeholders and officials in OFA for all their hard work," Sayyid Khalid said.

Prior to Oman's participation in the Asian Cup next year, Sayyid Khalid said OFA has submitted two projects to the Ministry of Sports Affairs (MoSA) to seek additional support for training the national team. Interestingly, two of Oman's junior teams will also take part in the Asian Cup finals. The U-16 team will participate in the 2014 AFC Asian Cup in Myanmar, while the U-19 will compete in the 2014 AFC Asian Cup in Thailand.

Additionally, the senior national team has successfully qualified for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup to be held in Australia.

"As you know, two of our junior teams and our senior national team are taking part in the Asian Cup finals. Apart from that, they are also taking part in the Gulf Cup of Nations this year. Therefore, we have prepared two projects — the zero deficit budget and the special budget to the Ministry of Sports Affairs. This will help us organise high-level international games for our teams. We are in continuous discussions with the government and we are confident of getting it through," Sayyid Khalid noted.

Meanwhile, OFA has also decided to implement the four-year strategic development plan for Oman Football, prepared by its technical director Jim Selby. As part of the technical development, the OFA has also decided to start grass-roots academies in all 43 clubs around the country.

"This is in addition to the five centres we currently have. We have also decided to allocate financial and technical support to these 43 clubs," he added.

In order to evaluate and assess the performance of various national teams, OFA has also decided to form a Technical Evaluation Group and committee for Statistics and Research that consists of experts from within and outside the local governing body.

In another major development, OFA has decided to form an Ethics Committee to be responsible for match-fixing issues. However, Sayyid Khalid noted that there have been no cases of match-fixing reported in the country.

"This is vital for Oman Football and, at the same time, it is being formed to comply with AFC regulations. This will also help us in the Oman Professional League," he added.


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  • 1 year later...

UAE Beat Iran To Win 2019 Asian Cup Hosting Rights

United Arab Emirates were, as expected, named hosts of the 2019 Asian Cup on Monday after beating outsiders Iran to stage the expanded 24-team tournament.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced the safe bet decision after a meeting of their executive committee in Bahrain on Monday.

Iran’s hopes were always hindered by the unwillingness to allow women to attend matches at home, a decision FIFA president Sepp Blatter labelled “intolerable” on Friday after he claimed he had been given hope in 2013 that it would be overturned.

Iran is also subject to western sanctions over its nuclear programme, which has made it difficult for the country’s football association to host friendly matches, a vital source of income for the federation, which has hit the men’s team.

The UAE have proved to be a safe pair of hands in organising global soccer events, having staged the 2009 and 2010 FIFA Club World Cups and the FIFA under-17 World Cup in 2013.

The UAE and Iran were the only runners to host the Asian Cup after early interest from China, Bahrain, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Thailand and Saudi Arabia failed to materialise into a concrete bid.

The UAE will use six stadiums in three cities, two in Abu Dhabi, two in Dubai and the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Ain, for the event, which is likely to be held at the start of the year when temperatures in the region are coolest.




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