BAHRAIN have withdrawn their bid to host the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, reports PATRICK SALOMON.
This was announced last night by Bahrain Football Association (BFA) vice-president for administrative and financial affairs Ahmed Al Nuaimi.
Bahrain have pulled out to make way for the other GCC national federations who are interested in hosting the quadrennial Asian Football Confederation (AFC) showcase, according to Al Nuaimi.
Bahrain's untimely withdrawal leaves only seven countries still vying to host the Asian Cup, including China, Iran, Oman, Thailand, and neighbouring GCC nations Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Bahrain's interest in hosting the event was a result of the kingdom's successful hosting of the 21st Gulf Cup, held in January of this year. It was then soon announced that the BFA had submitted its initial application to stage the mega 16-nation event, and only recently had sent in to the AFC further requirements for the application process.
The 2019 tournament will be the 17th edition of the competition.
The winning bid is expected to be announced at the next AFC Asian Cup in January 2015, to be held in Australia.