UAE to build new stadium for 2019 Asian Cup
UAE promises new stadium
The United Arab Emirates promised a fitting spectacle complete with a glittering new stadium and plenty of fans on Tuesday after winning hosting rights for the 2019 Asian Cup.
UAE Football Association chief Yousuf Al Serkal told the Gulf state could host the regional showpiece “next week” if it had to, but that it planned to build a new venue in Dubai.
Games will be played in Dubai, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and possibly Sharjah, in an event which comes just three years before neighbouring Qatar hosts the 2022 World Cup.
But Al Serkal said the UAE, whose national team finished an impressive third at this year’s Asian Cup in Australia, had no plans to bid for a World Cup of its own.
“Now that Qatar is hosting in 2022, it will be a long period of time to rotate and come back to this part of the world,” he said in a phone interview.
“We will leave it to the coming generation.”
UAE, chosen ahead of Iran by the Asian Football Confederation’s executive committee, has a tough task in following Australia where the total attendance soared to 650,000 and games sold out in all five host cities.
But Al Serkal said UAE drew fans in 1996, when it first hosted the Asian Cup, and that it successfully held both the 2003 U20 World Cup and the 2013 U17 World Cup.