HONGKONG (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates will face China, East Timor and Syria at this month’s Asian Games after the Asian Football Confederation conducted a partial redraw of the football competition on Friday following Iraq’s late withdrawal.
The redraw was the second time the group phase of the competition had to be amended after organisers had not included the UAE and Palestine in the original selection when it was conducted in early July.
Iraq’s decision on Thursday not to compete threw up further complications for organisers, leaving only three teams in their group while two other groups – featuring the late additions from the UAE and Palestine – contained five nations.
The football tournament at the Asian Games features teams comprising players aged 23 years of age and under, with coaches permitted to select three overage players.
The competition begins on Aug. 10, with the final to be played on Sept. 1.
Asian Games Football Draw
Group A: Indonesia, Hong Kong, Laos, Chinese Taipei, Palestine
Group B: Thailand, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Qatar
Group C: United Arab Emirates, China, East Timor, Syria
Group D: Japan, Vietnam, Pakistan, Nepal
Group E: South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Bahrain
Group F: North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Myanmar
(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Christian Radnedge)