Saturday, May 12, 2012
Who will make it?
The hosts of the finals, to be played 24-30 September, will be announced once the six teams are known. One of them will be selected as the hosting team and federation. We already know that Kyrgyzstan are desperate to host the final stage once again, they last held it in 2008, and have made their intentions clear that they wish to progress to the AFC Cup next season. Pakistan hosted the finals in 2007, Kyrgyzstan in 2008, Tajikistan in 2009 and Chinese Taipei last year. That may prompt the AFC to consider allowing one of the other finalists to host this year's competition finale.
Update: In the final match of the qualifying stage, home team Khan Research Laboratories from Pakistan drew 0-0 with Taiwan Power Company in front of just 500 fans and both teams progress into the competition finals, leaving Erchim from Mongolia to contemplate what might have been. In case you were wondering, only ten teams completed out of the twelve who were originally scheduled to take part in this year's AFC President's Cup Group stage. Two teams dropped out citing safety reasons.