Malaysia bid to host 2019 Asian Cup

Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:52am IST

REUTERS - Malaysia have joined the long list of countries vying to host soccer's 2019 Asian Cup.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) leaders made the decision at a executive committee meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

Bahrain, China, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates have all expressed interest in hosting the region's premier international tournament won for a record fourth time by Japan in 2011.

"We have the infrastructure and the blessings of the Sports Ministry to host the tournament," FAM general secretary Azzuddin Ahmad told reporters late on Wednesday.

"Our national team will also get a spot in the tournament if we host it...so, it will be good for Malaysian football.

"AFC will call the bidding nations for a workshop. The bidding documents must be sent in by June."

The winning bid will be decided next year.

Malaysia jointly hosted the 2004 tournament with Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam but the event was criticised for being a logistical nightmare with then AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam saying that was the last time there would be multiple hosts.

Australia will host the 2015 edition of the 16-team tournament after they were the only country to bid for the rights despite the Asian Football Confederation delaying the deadline for bids to encourage competition.

(Reporting by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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