Large stadium with or without a running track? That may not be a dilemma for Dubai, because the city will have two new stadiums before 2018, should they be selected as 2019 Asian Cup hosts.
During yesterday’s press conference officials representing UAE Football Association (UAEFA) and Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) informed about ambitious projects about to be implemented in the Emirates. The country hopes to host AFC Asian Cup for the second time in history, in 2019.
The conference marked a visit by AFC delegates, who toured around the country and checked five host venues of the tournament. United Arab Emirates want to concentrate the tournament in three cities, each having two stadiums: Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain.
In Abu Dhabi two existing grounds will be used, each at over 40,000 capacity: the Sheikh Zayed Stadium and Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. Similarly in Al Ain also two stadia, but much smaller are ready: brand new Hazza bin Zayed Stadium and Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium.
Most impressive host of the tournament would be Dubai, where two 60,000-capacity stadiums are planned, both largest in the country. One is already under construction, though the project is currently on hold.
The Dubai Sports City Stadium (below) will be football-athletic stadium, while another one, planned along the Al Khail Road near the Sports City is thought to be a football-specific one. Both will be ready in 2018. No announcement was made on whether completion is dependent on AFC decision.
Final selection of the 2019 hosts is expected in November 2014. United Arab Emirates compete for the tournament with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Thailand.