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AFC final shifted out of Hyderabad

August 09, 2008 18:43 IST

Unsuitable ground conditions following incessant rains in the city forced the Asian Football Confederation to postpone and shift the AFC Challenge Cup final between India and Tajikistan scheduled for Sunday in Hyderabad and Delhi is likely to host the game in a week.

An AFC delegation will fly to New Delhi on Sunday morning to inspect the ground conditions at the Ambedkar Stadium and take a decision whether the final could be held in the capital.

The delegation will decide the date of the match which the organisers said would be within a week.

Heavy rains, which lashed the city for the past eight days, made Gachibowli and Lal Bahadur stadiums unsuitable for the final match of the eight-nation tournament, whose winners would automatically qualify for the 2011 Asian Cup.

"Hyderabad has been ruled out and an AFC delegation will inspect the Ambedkar Satdium in Delhi tomorrow morning and take a decision in the afternoon whether to hold the final there. The date for the final and third place play-off will be decided after inspection in Delhi but the match will be held within a week," AFC media officer Steve Tae Kim said.

All India Football Federation General Secretary Alberto Colaco will also accompany the AFC delegation to the Capital.

Playing in Hyderabad after a few days was not considered an option because of uncertainty that rain may stop in the next couple of days.

New Delhi was also in the running to host the July 30-August 10 elite tournament but Hyderabad had pipped the Capital as it had organised the Nehru Cup last August, in which India came out victorious.

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