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UAE, Palestine added to Asian Games after mix-up

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FILE PHOTO - Workers take their picture next to countdown clock as Indonesia marks the one year countdown before hosting the 2018 Asain Games in Jakarta, Indonesia August 18, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – The United Arab Emirates and Palestine were yesterday officially added to the football tournament at the Asian Games after they were accidentally omitted from the original draw.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) conducted a limited re-draw at their headquarters in Kuala Lumpur to include the two sides alongside 24 others taking part in football at the Games, which begin next month.

AFC secretary-general Windsor John said Games organisers failed to pass the names of UAE and Palestine to his body for the initial draw, even though both teams had attempted to register.

John said he was not sure what caused the problem. He stressed the AFC was not running the competition, and was conducting the draw on behalf of the Olympic Council of Asia and the Indonesian organising committee.

Eris Herryanto, secretary-general of the Indonesian committee, said the two sides had not properly followed procedures.

“They did something wrong. For example, if they registered one person more than they should have had, that won’t go into the system,” he said.

Palestine was placed in Group A with Indonesia, Hong Kong, Laos and Taiwan. The UAE was placed in Group E with South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia and Bahrain.

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