AFC team to assess Nepal's hosting bid


KATHMANDU, May 24: An inspection team of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is arriving on Nepal on Tuesday to study infrastructure and feasibility for organizing AFC Challenge Cup 2012 finals in Kathmandu after Nepal expressed interest to host the tournaments. Nepal, Palestine and Maldives have decided to bid to host the tournament.

"An inspection team is visiting Kathmandu on Tuesday after we decided to bid," said ANFA Vice-president Narendra Shrestha.

The three bidders Maldives, Nepal and Palestine have never hosted the tournament before while Bangladesh (2006), India (2008) and Sri Lanka (2010) had hosted the past three editions of the tournament´s finals.

"The success of our bid depends on whether or not we can assure AFC about the development of infrastructure required to host the tournament," said ANFA President Ganesh Thapa. "If government provides us support to develop infrastructure, we might qualify as the host of the final rounds of the Challenge Cup," he added.

The AFC has asked the football associations of Maldives, Nepal, and Palestine to sign the Organizing Association Agreement and the List of Requirements after the three expressed an interest to bid. The AFC Challenge Cup is AFC´s second-tier national team tournament for its developing member nations and is played on a bi-annual basis. Previous champions include Tajikistan (2006), India (2008) and DPR Korea (2010).

Palestine, The Philippines, India, Turkmenistan, Maldives, Tajikistan, DPR Korea and Nepal have qualified for the final rounds of the AFC Challenge Cup 2012. Nepal qualified beating Afghanistan and playing a goalless draw, but losing against DPR Korea during the group D qualifiers held last month in Kathmandu.

According to AFC´s official website, the host for the 2012 edition is likely to be decided by the AFC Organizing Committee for President´s Cup and Challenge Cup during its meeting on June 14.

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