Maldives enters race to host AFC Challenge Cup tournament

The Maldives has joined Nepal and Palestine in the running to become the host nation for next year’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup finals.

According to the Asian football association, the three nations have been asked to sign the confederation’s Organising Association Agreement (OAA) and agree to its last of requirements in order to stand as possible host candidates for the event, which is held contested every two years among a number of second tier national football teams represented by the AFC.

The hosting decision is expected to be made by June 14, 2011, with all three potential nations standing to hold a major AFC finals event for the first time.

Back in March, the Maldives’ national stadium in Male’ hosted every single Group C qualifying match for the 2012 Challenge Cup finals, with the home team coming out on top to qualify alongside second place Tajikistan.

The last three challenge cups taking place in 2010, 2008 and 2006 took place in Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh respectively.