Defending Metfone C-League Champions Phnom Penh Crown will have to travel all the way to the Hissar Valley city of Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan for the September 24 to 30 six-team AFC President’s Cup finals after losing out on the bid to host it.
This is the second time in four years that Tajikistan is organising the finals. It was last held at Tursunzade in 2009.
Three member federations, Cambodia, Tajikistan and Krygyzstan in co-ordination with their affiliated clubs in the finals had staked claim to stage the event.
The Asian Football Confederation Executive Committee awarded the rights to Tajikistan at its meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
The draw to determine the two groups for the finals, to be played at the 20,000-seat Central Republic Stadium, will be held on July 31.
Last year’s runners-up Phnom Penh Crown will join reigning Tajik champions Istiklol, 2011 winners Taiwan Power Company, Pakistan’s Khan Research Laboratories, Dordoi FC of Krygyzstan and Al Amma’ri Youth Club of Palenstine in the finals.
The six teams will be split into two groups of three each with the pool winners fighting for the coveted Cup, which was first instituted in 2005.
Two-time winners Dordoi topped Group B in this year’s preliminaries ahead of Phnom Penh Crown. Istiklol took the Group C honours pushing debutants Al Amma’ri to second place. Cup holders Taiwan Power Company won both their Group A matches to earn a ticket with Pakistan’s KRL FC second.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at firstname.lastname@example.org