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Saudi Arabia may miss out as 2019 Asian Cup hosts

Published: Updated:

Saudi Arabia’s policy of not allowing single women into the country means it is likely to miss out on the chance to host the 2019 Asian Cup finals, local daily al-Sharq reported on Monday.

“There is the crucial issue of allowing women supporters in stadiums. Several countries have companies that organize trips for the games and these invariably include women. The problem is that Saudi Arabia does not allow women who do not have male relatives with them to enter the country,” an official from the Asian Football Confederation told the newspaper.

Eleven countries have shown interest in hosting the 2019 Asian Cup finals, but three of them - Lebanon, Malaysia and Myanmar - have pulled out of the race.

Along with Saudi Arabia, the remaining countries are Bahrain, China, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.