Qatar to host next Asian Cup

Gulf country was the only final bidder for the 2011 event.

    Doha's Khalifa stadium would likely host the final in
    the 2011 AFC Asian Cup [GALLO/GETTY]
    Qatar has officially been unveiled as the host of the next Asian Cup, with the tournament likely to be held in January of 2011.

    The Arabian Gulf country was the only final bidder after an interested Australia was precluded from consideration as the event must be held away from east Asia for the next edition.

    While hosting the event in January does avoid the extreme heat of July in the Gulf region, it does put countries on a collision course with European clubs.

    However, Mohammed Bin Hammam, the Asian Football Confederation president, was confident the players would be released.

    "In January we have the window of FIFA," Bin Hammam said.

    "All our players will be released from their duties."

    The president also acknowledged the problem of poor spectator turnout in Qatar as seen during  many events at the 2006 Asian Games.

    "It's a concern, but we need to work through a very aggressive promotional programme," Bin Hammam, himself a Qatari, said.

    "Qatar is small, but it's surrounded by neighbours in the Gulf with huge populations."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.