BANGKOK: The Organising Committee for Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup UAE 2019 today launched the vision and mission for the competition which will run between January 5 and February 1, 2019.
The Committee, meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, agreed that the vision for the tournament, which will be extended to 24 teams for the first time, should be to make football the number one sport throughout Asia.
At a meeting where the latest preparation work was detailed, it was also confirmed that the tournament would showcase football in Asia in the biggest ever finals and that the event would enhance the awareness of and attendance at the AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
The Asian Cup UAE 2019 also presents an opportunity to unite all local and international football fans in the Middle East and demonstrate the cultural diversity of the event, as well as strengthening football as the main sport in the UAE.
There was also a presentation from H E Aref Hamad Al Awani, Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee and General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, who confirmed that Rashed Stadium, home of Al Ahli which hosted the first leg of the AFC Champions League final in 2015, will be the second stadium used for the matches scheduled in Dubai.
The Chairperson of the Organising Committee for the Asian Cup Saoud Al Mohannadi said: “We have expanded the tournament from 16 to 24 teams for the finals and the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 promises to be bigger and better than ever. It looks like everything is in place and going as planned and the LOC deserves our thanks and congratulations for their hard work.
“Congratulations also go to the 20 teams who have already qualified and good luck to the seven teams who still have dreams of reaching the UAE 2019.”
The draw for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 will take place on April 27, 2018 – one month after the final round of qualifying matches.