Iran has lost its bid to host the 2019 Asian Football Cup. It was announced in Bahrain on Monday March 9 that the UAE will host the championship.
In the preliminary stages, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Thailand were in the running along with Iran and the UAE, but after a number of withdrawals in the final stages, the choice remained between Iran and the UAE.
Earlier, some analysts had stated that Iran’s restrictions against allowing female spectators into sports stadiums would reduce its chances of winning the bid.
Ali Kafashian, the head of Iran’s Federation of Football, stated, however, that the main problem with Iran’s bid for the next Asian Cup is related to “broadcast rights and sponsoring” and not the issue of female spectators in stadiums.
Sepp Blatter, the head of FIFA, had expressed dismay regarding the restrictions on female spectators attending sports matches in Iranian stadiums, saying it was time to end all such limitations.
Kafashian later responded to these statements, saying foreign women face no such restrictions and only Iranian women are affected.
ISNA has reported, however, that the selection of the UAE as the host for the 2019 games has come as a surprise, as Tehran was anticipating a visit from Asian Football representatives next month to review the country’s suitability to host the games.
Tags: Asian Football Cup