KUALA LUMPUR: The AFC President's Cup and Challenge Cup Organising Committee, chaired by Ganesh Thapa, decided to allot the opening ceremony of the maiden AFC Challenge Cup to Bangladesh at its meeting here on Monday.
Bangladesh and Nepal will co-host the tournament which features 16 ‘emerging’ countries, divided into four groups, and will run from March 25 to April 9, 2006.
The final of the coveted event will be played in Nepal, if Bangladesh does not make it to the summit clash. Nepal will be the hosts even if both the hosts make it to the final.
The final match will be played in Bangladesh only if they reach the final against any other team.
Group A comprises India, Chinese Taipei, the Philippines and Afghanistan while co-hosts Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Brunei are in Group B. Co-hosts Bangladesh are alongside Palestine, Cambodia and Guam in Group C while two the Central Asian countries of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have been drawn in Group D with Pakistan and Macau.
Groups A and B will be played in Nepal while the matches of Groups C and D will be held in Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, the draw for the second edition of the AFC President’s Cup will be held on March 23, 2006, in the host country which is yet to be decided. The tournament will be played from 3-13 May, 2006.
Clubs from eight countries - Bhutan, Chinese Taipei, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tajikistan – will participate in the event which was won by RegAR Tadaz of Tajikistan this year. Four clubs - Transport United (Bhutan), Chinese Taipei (Tatung), Dordoi Dynamo (Kyrgyzstan) and Ratnam Sports Club (Sri Lanka) – have already confirmed their participation.