By Dylan Bowman
Success in staging last year's Asian Games chould boost chances of hosting the football competition.
Qatar formally submitted its bid to host the 2011 Asian Cup finals this week, claiming its success in staging the Asian Games last year should stand it in good stead.
“We successfully hosted the Asian Games in December last year, which shows our abilities as a host of major international events,” said Qatar Football Association general secretary Saud Al Mohannadi.
“We hope the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) executive committee will be satisfied with our bid and give us a chance to host the biggest Asian football event in four years time,” he added. “We have been hosting top football events and our facilities are ready to host the event even today.”
India and Iran have also showed interest in hosting Asia’s premier football tournament, but on Thursday India withdrew, saying it would not be able to meet the Asian Cup’s massive infrastructure requirements.
It now looks as though the competition to host the cup will be a two horse race between Qatar and Iran.
Qatar has hosted the Asian Cup finals once before, in 1988, when it was won by Saudi Arabia.
Iran, three-time winner of the competition, has hosted the Asian Cup on two previous occasions, in 1968 and 1976.
The AFC will make a final decision who is to host the 2011 Asian Cup on July 29.
This year’s tournament kicks off next month in Bangkok. The competition is being co-hosted by Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.