The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has appointed a number of venues to hold this year’s AFC Cup group stages games. Southeast Asian nations Indonesia and Malaysia were given the honors to host two of the region’s AFC Cup groups, with Bali United hosting Group G and Kuala Lumpur City hosting Group H.
The announcement of this year’s AFC Cup group stage host venues was made on Thursday and other than Indonesia and Malaysia, Oman, Kuwait, India, Bahrain, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Taiwan were also given the rights to host this year’s AFC Cup group stage games.
Omani side Al-Seeb will act as hosts for Group A, which also contains former AFC Cup champions Kuwait SC as well as Lebanon’s Al-Ansar and Syrian debutants Jableh.
Kuwait’s domestic rivals Al-Arabi will host Group B, contending with the likes of Bahrain’s Al-Riffa, Palestine’s Shabab Al-Khalil, and Oman’s Dhofar, while Al-Riffa’s city rivals East Riffa will host Group C in Manama, taking on Syria’s Tishreen, Lebanon’s Nejmeh, and Palestinians Hilal Al-Quds.
India’s Gokulam Kerala will host Group D at their very own home state, where they will welcome Bangladesh’s Bashundhara Kings, Maziya S&RC of the Maldives, and the winner of the South Asian Zone play-offs that involves the likes of India’s ATK Mohun Bagan and Bangladesh’s Abahani Limited Dhaka.
Tajik debutants CSKA Pamir Dushanbe will host Group E, where they were drawn with Turkmen giants Altyn Asyr, Neftchi Kochkor-Ata of Kyrgyzstan, and last year’s runners-up Nasaf Qarshi of Uzbekistan. Neftchi’s countrymen in Dordoi Bishkek, on the other hand, will host Group F, taking on the likes of Kopetdag of Turkmenistan and Tajikistan’s Khujand.
Bali United were given the honors of hosting Group G and even though the official AFC website said that the Serdadu Tridatu will host their continental games in Denpasar, it is more likely that they will play games at their usual home ground of Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in nearby Gianyar. There they will take on the likes of Kedah Darul Aman of Malaysia and Kaya FC-Iloilo of the Philippines.
Fellow Indonesian outfit PSM Makassar will travel out to the KLFA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur for their Group H matches, where they will face-off against hosts Kuala Lumpur City and Singapore’s Tampines Rovers.
Last but not least, Group J will be hosted by Taiwanese side Tainan City, where they will welcome Hong Kong’s Eastern, MUST CPK of Macau, and either one of Hong Kong’s Lee Man FC or Mongolia’s Athletic 220.
The hosts of Group I, which includes Viettel FC of Vietnam, Hougang United of Singapore, and Phnom Penh Crown of Cambodia, will be announced in the near future.