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Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Tajikistan is the host
I've just heard that the AFC Competitions Committee earlier today awarded the
hosting rights of the AFC President’s Cup 2012 Finals to Tajikistan. The 24-30 September Finals will go to
Tajikstan's capital city of Dushanbe, where their champions FC Istiklol
play. There were three countries in the hunt to host the finals, with Cambodia and Kyrgyzstan (with Dordoi as their champions) also throwing their hat to into the ring. In their wisdom, the AFC suits have gone with Tajikistan. The committee's decision has to be ratified by the AFC Executive
Committee to take effect but that's merely a rubber-stamp process. Phnom Penh Crown, Istiklol and Dordoi will be joined in the finals, the third tier of AFC club football in Asia, by Palestine’s
debutants Al Amma’ri, Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) of Pakistan and
defending champions Taiwan Power Company. The finals will be be played amongst the six clubs in a
league-cum-knockout format, with the top two sides playing in
the final. Dordoi, the two-time winners of the competition, topped Group B
ahead of Phnom Penh Crown in May’s qualifying round held in Phnom Penh, while Istiklol won
the qualifiers leaving Palestine's Al Amma’ri in 2nd place
when they hosted Group C in the qualifiers held in May. Champions Taiwan Power Company won both their matches in Group A to
qualify ahead of KRL. The draw for the finals, which will include two groups of three teams with the winners going through to the actual final on 30 September, will be made in Dushanbe on Tuesday 31 July.