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UAE to host 2019 Asian Cup

The UAE, who crashed out of the semi-final of the 2015 competition, selected to host next round of the international cup
UAE players celebrate victory against Japan during the 2015 Asian Cup (AFP)

The United Arab Emirates won a bid to host the 2019 Asian Cup on Monday, beating out competition from other hopefuls like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran and China.

The UAE beat Iran during a vote held in Bahrain on Monday afternoon, winning the right to host the international cup for the second time.

The Gulf emirate finished third at the 2015 Asian Cup, losing out to hosts Australia, who went on to win the competition overall.

Qatar, which hosted the previous round in 2011, did not apply to organise the competition this time.

The Gulf kingdom, a close neighbour of the UAE, is scheduled to host the 2022 World Cup, becoming the first Middle Eastern nation to do so.

However, the bidding process and run-up have been mired in scandal, with allegations of bribery and documented abuse of the migrant workers building stadia for the competition.

It was announced at the end of February that the World Cup will be played for the first time in the winter months rather than the customary summer due to searing temperatures in Qatar.

In contrast to the World Cup, the Asian Cup is traditionally held in January, when temperatures in the Gulf States average around 18°C.

The UAE will enter the second round of qualifiers for the 2019 cup thanks to their strong finish in the 2015 competition.

The final round of qualifiers will begin in October 2016 and concludes in March 2018.

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