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Nov 4, 2009

5-nation U19 football moved from Lahore

5-nation U19 football moved from Lahore
Pakistan Times Sports Desk

LAHORE: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has moved the 5-Nation Group D qualifier of 36th AFC U19 Championship Qualifier from Lahore owing to current uncertain security situation.

In view of the unfortunate events taking place in different regions of Pakistan, particularly Lahore, the AFC Competitions Committee has decided to nominate another host event which was to take place from December 8-10, informed AFC through a letter on Tuesday to Pakistan Football Federation.

AFC has invited other participating member Associations to host the five-team tournament. The countries taking part are Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

A total of 40 teams are involved in qualifying action after the withdrawal of Bhutan and Maldives. There are five groups of six teams and two groups of five teams. The winner and runners-up of each group will advance to the tournament proper, which will be held next year at an as yet undecided venue. One best third-placed team from the West Zone and one best third-placed team from the East also qualify for the Finals.

Defending champions UAE will attempt to qualify for the finals from a tricky Group B, which also comprises Syria, Qatar, Bahrain and Sri Lanka. Uzbekistan, runners-up of the previous edition, will fight it out with Iran, Lebanon, Turkmenistan and Pakistan in Group D.Two-time winners Saudi Arabia will come face to face with Iraq, who won the title in 2000, Oman, Kuwait, India and Afghanistan in a finely-balanced Group C.

In the East section, Japan, who will be itching to shed their perennial U-19 bridesmaid’s tag, and Australia were slotted together in Group F with Indonesia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong.

Korea Republic, who have won the title a whopping 11 times, received an easy draw in Group E with Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Macau and Bangladesh.
Another East Asian giant, China, who last lifted this trophy in 1985, were grouped in Group G in the company of 2006 winners DPR Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Guam and the Philippines.



Group A - Tajikistan, Jordan, Yemen, Nepal, Palestine, Kyrgyzstan
Group B - UAE, Syria, Qatar, Bahrain, Sri Lanka
Group C - Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, Kuwait, India, Afghanistan
Group D - Uzbekistan, Iran, Lebanon, Turkmenistan, Pakistan
Group E - Korea Republic, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Macau, Bangladesh
Group F - Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong
Group G - China, DPR Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Guam, The Philippines.


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