The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said Tuesday that it has received a guarantee from Lebanon that they would be ready to host the Asian Cup finals in October, reported Tehran Times newspaper.
The AFC said Lebanon's youth and sports minister assured thenm that facilities would be completed by September 15th.
"The Asian Football Confederation has received a guarantee from the local organizing committee, the minister of youth and sports of Lebanon and the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR), that all facilities promised for the Asian Cup will be completed by September 15th," AFC said in a statement.
AFC said they issued the deadline last week after an inspection team found the pace of progress, including the construction of a new 25,000 capacity stadium at Tripoli, to be "very alarmingly slow."
It said it has sought intervention from President Emile Lahoud, to "save" the situation and enable Lebanon to remain as host and that they were ready to activate contingency plans if the deadline was not met.
AFC Secretary General Peter Velappan disclosed that he had been informed by the secretary general of the Lebanese football Association, and tournament director Rahif Alameh, that General Lahoud had directed all agencies concerned to work to deliver the facilities to the AFC by September 15th, said the paper.
Apart from the stadium at Tripoli, the other venues where Asian Cup matches will be played are the Beirut city sports stadium (60,000 capacity) and the Saida International Stadium (capacity 22,000) at Saida.
The teams in the 12th Asian Cup finals fray are defending champions Iran, Saudi Arabia, host Lebanon, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Democratic Republic of Korea, Kuwait, China, Qatar, Thailand and Uzbekistan - Albawaba.com
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