Qatar is only regional nominee for 2011 Asian Cup

If the Asian Football Confederation maintains the regional rotation for its prestigious Asian Cup, the tounament's 2011 edition will be played in the Middle East sheikdom of Qatar. India formally declined to nominate because it couldn’t come up with the required infrastructure in time and Iran, tipped to be interested, did not submit a bid by the deadline. However, the AFC, lead by former Qatar Football Association President Mohamad Bin Hammam, furious about the lack of assistance and infrastructure support by the four South East Asian hosts of the 2007 cup, is sure to test Qatar's capacity. Otherwise China or Australia might be invited to tender.

"Qatar’s submission must meet all the requirements stipulated by the AFC before it can be formally ratified as host. Otherwise the bidding process will be reopened," commented the Gulf Times. "However, it is highly unlikely that Qatar would fail the test because Doha successfully hosted the Asian Games last December, earning praise from the rest of the world for its world class facilities and organisational skills." Qatar has hosted the Asian Cup before in 1988 when it was won by Saudi Arabia. In the past the country has also hosted the West Asian Cup, the Arabian Gulf Cup and the FIFA Youth World Cup.