India's AFC Challenge Cup bid in doubt - report

India were hoping to host the prestigious tournament for the second time in six years, but the AFC announced that the Philippines and Maldives were in the final shortlist..
India's desire to host the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup looks to be dead and buried as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) shortlisted Philippines and Maldives in its final list of names and have asked members of the AFC President's Cup and Challenge Cup to choose from among the two. Tajikstan was the other nation that had reportedly submitted a bid to host the prestigious tournament.

"There is some confusion at the moment. The AFC has recommended two names and India is not among them. I have asked them why India was not in the shortlisted and am waiting to hear back from them," said Alberto Colaco, General Secretary of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF).

Philippines and Maldives are favourites to host the AFC Challenge Cup

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) are expectedly not amused as they look to demand an answer as to why India's name is missing even before the conclusion of the selection process. AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said to The Times of India: "We are not demanding that the AFC hand over the tournament to us but there has to be a process"

"The final decision would only be taken in the competition committee meeting on November 28. However, we have received a letter from the AFC that there is no need for an inspection in India because they have already inspected all three stadiums (two in Delhi and one in Goa) here in the past," Das added.

India had hosted and won the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008 that ensured their participation in the 2011 Asian Championship in Doha.

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