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Organising Committee of the AFC Asian Cup: ‘We are ready’

Abu Dhabi: The Organising Committee of the AFC Asian Cup (OCAC), chaired by Saoud Al-Mohannadi, met in Abu Dhabi on Friday to hear that preparations for the biggest and best AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, which kicks off on Saturday when the hosts United Arab Emirates take on Bahrain, are complete.

Mr Al-Mohannadi thanked the OCAC members for their hard work in preparing for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 which will be the biggest-ever in the history of the competition. “We are now ready for the opening match.”

He added: “This competition will live up to the slogan of ‘Bringing Asia Together’ and with a competition of this stature, we are proud to have extended the AFC’s ‘It’s My Game’ campaign with the LOC to inspire women and girls across the UAE to embrace different roles in football.

“I am pleased to inform you the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 will introduce the Video Assistant Referee System (VAR) in seven matches starting from the quarter-finals. This landmark decision is a first for the AFC Asian Cup as we embrace technology to benefit the game.

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“The AFC Asian Cup will also allow the use of an additional substitute in extra-time, another first for the AFC’s leading national team competition. With 24 of the Continent’s best teams challenging for a glittering new AFC Asian Cup trophy, every one of the AFC’s five Regional Associations is represented here in the UAE.

“Not only do we have a new trophy but also a record number of officials, record prize money and a tournament specific match ball by Asian manufacturers, Molten.”

HE Aref Hamad Al Awani, the Local Organising Committee Tournament Director, detailed the city dressing, community engagement, road show activities and plans for Saturday’s opening ceremony.

Mr Al-Mohannadi concluded by adding: “We have heard that everything is now ready and all that is left is for me to wish everyone great success with the competition.”

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