Maldives wins the hosting rights for 2014 AFC Challenge Cup

The island nation edged out the other hopefuls, which included India, Tajikistan and Philippines...

The AFC Competitions Committee on Wednesday awarded hosting rights of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup to Maldives.

The competitions committee, which is run under the chairmanship of AFC Vice President from UAE, Yousuf Al Serkal, ratified the decision taken by the Organising Committee for AFC’s President’s Cup and AFC Challenge Cup to appoint Maldives as a host.

India, Philippines and Tajikistan were also interested in hosting the tournament.

The committee also proposed the 2013 AFC Champions League slots to the AFC Executive Committee, which will meet on Thursday, while also deciding to hold the final of the ACL on home and away basis next year.

Following the 2015 Asian Cup, Challenge Cup winners will no longer receive an automatic bid to the continental tournament. Instead, the winners of the AFC Challenge Cup in 2016 and 2018 will have to face-off against the two best remaining teams who failed to qualify via the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

The committee also approved DPR Korea’s exclusion from future AFC Challenge Cups and maintained that the top three teams in the 2015 Asian Cup, to be hosted by Australia, will automatically qualify for the next edition.

All decisions of this committee were pending ratification the AFC Executive Committee before taking effect.