Asian Games 2018: Organisers shoehorn UAE, Palestine football teams into tournament to create groups with uneven numbers

The Asian Games organisers have discarded plans to redraw the men’s soccer tournament and have instead fit the United Arab Emirates and Palestine into two of the original groups, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has confirmed.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

UAE and Palestine were omitted from the original draw earlier this month, leading the AFC to schedule a fresh draw to take place at it’s headquarters in Malaysia on Wednesday. The Korean Football Association (KFA) said earlier that the plan for a redraw had been scrapped following the AFC’s meeting with Games organisers and the Olympic Council of Asia.

The AFC confirmed the new draw with UAE being added to Group E with Korea Republic, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia and Bahrain while Palestine joined Group A with host nation Indonesia, Hong Kong, Laos and Chinese Taipei.

With the addition of the two teams, two of the six groups will contain five sides, while the remaining four groups will each have four teams. The tournament, primarily contested by under-23 national team players, will be held from 14 August to 1 September but fixtures for the competition are yet to be announced.

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Updated Date: Jul 25, 2018 21:19:47 IST

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