Pakistan to participate in AFC
July 11 : Pakistan will be among the participants when the fourth AFC Challenge Cup Qualifier will be held next year. The winners will qualify for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) launched the competition two years ago in efforts to develop the game in the continent’s ‘emerging’ football nations. Unlike the AFC Presidents Cup, the AFC Challenge Cup is a competition for national teams. The 17 teams Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, Guam, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, classed as emerging associations of AFC, will be allowed to take part in the coming show.
“The emerging countries need time to catch up and close the gap on the more advanced nations in Asia. It is hoped the competition launched three years ago will enlarge awareness about football in these countries and accelerate the game’s development there,” said PFF President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat.
. “For these emerging nations, qualifying and doing well in the Asian Cup finals are dreams that are not reachable yet. By playing against teams of same-echelon in AFC Challenge Cup, they will have a better chance of accomplishment and will be able to raise the standards of football and interest in their countries. The most important target for each participating teams is that the winner of the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 will qualify for the 16<sup>th</sup> Asian Cup 2015.” added Faisal Saleh Hayat who is also Chairman AFC Disciplinary Committee and member FIFA, World Cup 2010 Disciplinary Committee.
The first tournament was hosted by Bangladesh in 2006. The 2008 and 2010 editions of the AFC Challenge Cup form part of the qualifiers for the 2011 Asian Cup as the winner of each edition had qualified directly
Meanwhile, the AFC Challenge Cup Organising Committee decided not to give direct entries to the top three finishers of the AFC Challenge Cup 2010 in its 2012 edition. The committee, under the chairmanship of Nepal’s Ganesh Thapa, discussed the formats of the AFC Challenge Cup 2012. Edition 2010 champions DPR Korea, runners-up Turkmenistan and third-placed Tajikistan, will now have to go through the group phase qualifiers to punch their tickets for the Finals.
Sixteen teams will be divided into four groups in the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 and the top-two teams from each group will vie for the honours in the eight-team Finals at a centralized venue.
The decision, however, will have to be endorsed by the AFC Competitions Committee and ratified by the AFC Executive Committee in their next meetings in July. At the outset, AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam expressed his happiness at the growing popularity of these competitions. “Organising the AFC Challenge Cup every two years has accelerated the development process in the Member Associations,” he said.
“We decided to create these competitions looking at the level of the game and infrastructure. I am happy that all the Member Associations in these categories are keen to prove their mettle. “For the first time, two Member Associations from this category - India and DPR Korea – will take part in the AFC Asian Cup by winning the AFC Challenge Cup, which will prove to be a motivation for other teams to excel,” he added.
Last edited by Worthless; 12-07-2010 at 05:13 AM.