Palestine, UAE Added to Asian Games Football Draw

Palestine and the UAE were added to Group A and E respectively Palestine and the UAE were added to Group A and E respectively

Palestinian and UAE teams have been added to an expanded soccer competition at the next month’s Asian Games after missing out on the original draw.

The Asian Football Confederation announced the new format Wednesday after dispensing with a re-draw following negotiations with Indonesian organizers of the games. The August 14-September 1 soccer competition will feature 26 teams in two groups of five team and four groups of four. The AFC said the top two teams in each group and the four best third-place teams will advance to the second round.

According to AP, the UAE team was added to Group E with defending champion South Korea, Malaysia, Bahrain and Kyrgyzstan.

Palestine was added to Group A along with Indonesia, Hong Kong, Laos and Taiwan.

In other groups, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Myanmar are in Group F. Thailand, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh and Qatar share Group B. In Group C, Iraq, China, East Timor and Syria are together. Japanese Samurais are with Vietnam, Pakistan, and Nepal in Group D.

Each country is allowed to add three overage players to its squad of under-23s.

The Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang will co-host the Asian Games, which feature athletes from 45 countries and regions.

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