Football: Malaysia to host AFC's inaugural Solidarity Cup

(Reuters) - Malaysia will host the first edition of the Solidarity Cup, a new tournament for emerging national football teams in Asia, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced on Thursday.

The competition will take place in November and the national teams separated into two groups, the AFC said.

Group A will contain five teams, including Nepal, Pakistan, and Brunei.

The other two teams in the group will be decided via a playoff, with one of either Timor Leste or Chinese Taipei, and Bhutan or Bangladesh making it to the tournament.

Group B will feature Sri Lanka, Macau, Mongolia, and either Maldives or Laos, who like the undecided teams in Group A, face each other in playoffs for the 2019 Asian Cup Qualifiers.

The play-off rounds end on Oct 11, at which point the nations taking part in the Solidarity Cup will be finalised.

"As the name suggests, the competition brings together a group of our aspiring member associations in a single event," AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalif said in a statement. "This is a unique competition where the focus is on development which, through mutual support and solidarity, will take Asian football to a new level."