Malaysia to bid for 2019 Asian Cup

Malaysia has joined the race to host the 2019 Asian Cup after the country’s governing body ratified a bid for the event at an executive committee meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

According to Reuters, Bahrain, China, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates have already expressed an interest in staging the national team tournament. The host country will be named by the Asian Football Confederation next year.

“We have the infrastructure and the blessings of the Sports Ministry to host the tournament,” Football Association of Malaysia general secretary Azzuddin Ahmad said. “Our national team will also get a spot in the tournament if we host it… so, it will be good for Malaysian football. The AFC will call the bidding nations for a workshop. The bidding documents must be sent in by June.”

Malaysia co-hosted the 2004 Asian Cup with Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Australia will stage the 2015 edition of the 16-team tournament after being the only country to bid for the rights.