A long, long way away, but the ball has got rolling with Bahrian confirming today that they will bid to host the 2019 edition after a successful hosting of the 2013 Gulf Nations Cup. The Bahrain Football Association (BFA) announced yesterday that it has officially submitted its initial application to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for the right to stage the prestigious continental tournament. BFA president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said that the recent success of the 21st Gulf Cup in the kingdom gave the BFA added conviction in applying to hold the Asian competition. Bahrain has organised many international sporting events in the past, but none have been as big as the 16-nation Asian Cup. BFA technical director and competitions committee head Hassan Ismail told the GDN last night that a committee of experts has already been set up to handle the remainder of the bidding process. "It is still a long road to when the hosts will be announced and there will be a lot of work for us to do until then, but so far we are happy with the initial bid we have submitted to the AFC," Ismail said. "We have received many messages of support from the rest of the Asian football family regarding our bid. Hopefully, we will win the right to host this very big event." The 2019 AFC Asian Cup will be the 17th edition of the continental showcase. It is expected that the winning bid will be announced during the next Asian Cup in 2015, to be held in Australia. Other countries that are reportedly interested in hosting the 2019 tournament are Oman, Iran, Uzbekistan and joint-bidders Saudi Arabia and the UAE, although these have yet to be confirmed. http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=345986 Should be an interesting bidding war to come.