BANGKOK // The UAE and Qatar were the only countries to submit bids to host the headquarters of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) before Friday's deadline, officials said. The two Gulf states confirmed they had put forward Doha and Abu Dhabi as candidate cities for the unsettled AFC, which is keen to move out of Kuala Lumpur, its home since its inauguration 43 years ago, after a series of festering disputes.
Despite being tipped as possible hosts, Bangkok and Singapore did not formally declare their interest, sources and officials said. The AFC would not confirm which countries had responded when contacted by Reuters after Friday's deadline passed. The Gulf bids are likely to increase tensions among the AFC's 46 members, many of which are against a Middle East move, fearing the growing power of oil-rich Arab countries over Asian football.
Despite refusing to bid, Malaysia is confident it will remain hosts, with its bosses saying they have enough support to veto any move. *Reuters