United Arab Emirates to host 2019 Asian Cup

Updated: 2015-03-10 10:03


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BRISBANE, Australia - The Asian Football Confederation selected the United Arab Emirates over a bid from Iran to host the 2019 continental champions at its meeting Monday in Manama, Bahrain.

The Asian Cup, which was hosted and won by Australia in January, will be expanded from 16 to 24 teams in the next edition.

AFC president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said there was no doubt the UAE was better equipped than Iran to host the continent's biggest football event.

He said, "We have to be realistic because the UAE's capabilities are bigger and I wish them success because after what we saw in Australia the championship was successful in every sense."

The UAE hosted the Asian Cup in 1996, when it lost the final on penalties against Saudi Arabia.