2019 Asian Cup in UAE will be bigger and better

2019 Asian Cup in UAE will be bigger and better

It will be a watershed moment for us: Al Serkal



By James Jose (senior Reporter)

Published: Sat 27 Jun 2015, 12:18 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:12 PM

 The state-of-the-art Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain will be one of the venues for the 2019 Asian Cup. — AFP File

The state-of-the-art Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain will be one of the venues for the 2019 Asian Cup. — AFP File

Abu Dhabi — UAE Football Association (UAEFA) President Yousuf Yaqoob Al Serkal said that hosting of the AFC Asian Cup will be a watershed moment in the history of sport in the country. The UAE are all set to play hosts again to the competition in 2019 after last hosting it way back in 1996.

The country was officially confirmed as the hosts after Al Serkal and Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the AFC President, signed the Organising Association Agreement (OAA) in Abu Dhabi on Thursday night.

“This is a turning point and landmark in the history of the UAE sport and a new line to be scripted in the country’s football. History goes round itself after the great achievement which was associated with the successful hosting of the 1996 finals,” Al Serkal said.

He said that with UAE having hosted many top class events across a wide array of sports and especially football, has now given them the confidence in making the Asian Cup another successful event. “The UAE’s bid to host the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals has received the unlimited support and backing of the wise leadership and the relentless efforts of the committee which was setup for the purpose,” he said.

“The strong bid of the UAE has made many of the competing countries withdraw from the bid for hosting the finals,” he added.

“I would like to congratulate the UAE people and the sports community with this great confidence of the AFC and there’s no doubt we will be hosting in 2019 a unique and an unprecedented event with great success,” said Al Serkal.

Meanwhile, Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police, Member of the AFC Executive Committee, said the Higher Organising Committee of the competition will meet soon to review some arrangements by creating new administrations in order to ensure the highest possible organisational standards.

“We are still four years away from the championship, but we will live up to the expectations and satisfaction of the UAE’s leadership and the people and residents,” said Al Romaithi, who was previously the UAEFA President.

The UAE have also been awarded the hosting rights for the Fifa Club World Cups in 2017 and 2018, seeing the championship return to the country where it was held in 2009 and 2010.

“We are also delighted to host the 2017 and 2018 of the Fifa Club World Cups and they will be of great help for us in hosting the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals. The AFC Asian Cup 2019 will feature 24 teams for the first time and this is a great honour for us. We will continue to gain the world’s confidence for our beloved nation,” he added.

james@khaleejtimes.com


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