Dubai plans to build new 60,000-seat stadium

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Dubai has recently hosted the U17 World Cup tournament. (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Dubai has recently hosted the U17 World Cup tournament. (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Plans have been revealed to build a new 60,000-seat stadium in Dubai.

Funded by the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), the facility would be located close to Dubai Sports City and is expected to be ready by 2018, Construction Week Online reported.

The project was revealed as the UAE Football Association outlined its bid to host the 2019 Asian Cup.

They said games would be played at the cricket stadium and a smaller 25,000-seat stadium currently under construction in Sports City will also be included as a stand-by venue.

The 2019 tournament is set to be expanded to 24 teams. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) requires bidding nations to have six suitable stadia and an eight-man delegation, headed by Dr Tran Quoc Tuan, were also shown potential venues in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

The capital plans to hold games at Zayed Sports City and the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, while the Garden City would stage matches at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium and Khalifa International Stadium.

The UAE is competing against bids from Iran, Saudi Arabia and Thailand for the right to host the Asian Cup for the second time, and first since 1996, but UAEFA board member Yousef Khouri believes their experience at hosting top class sporting events gives them an advantage.

“The last time we hosted this event was in 1996 and after that we longed to host it again,” he told Sport 360. “The UAE is known for hosting big events in all areas, especially football.”

The UAE most recently hosted the FIFA Under-17 World Cup last winter, and Al Khouri added: “I think by the end of the year we could host the 2015 Asian Cup, but I hope we will be lucky and host the 2019 Asian Cup.”

The decision on who will host the 2019 Cup is expected to be made at November’s AFC Executive Committee meeting.

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