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Asian soccer announces new broadcast partner days after terminating previous 10-year deal

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Asian soccer’s governing body announced its new broadcast rights partner Monday, three days after terminating a previous exclusive deal five years early.

The Asia Football Group is now the exclusive rights holder through 2028. The Asian Football Confederation gave no details about investors or executive managers.

“Asia Football Group was established exclusively to provide bespoke services to the AFC and its commercial partners, with a network of offices in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore,” the soccer body said, adding its new partner is “Dubai-registered.”

A previous company called “ Asia Football Group ” is listed on business directories as being created in Singapore in 2004 to provide soccer youth training programs.

The AFC last week terminated its 10-year deal with Football Marketing Asia, which was a partnership between agencies in China and Switzerland. FMA also has offices in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The new deal takes immediate effect, the same day the group stage of the Asian Champions League starts. Karim Benzema and Neymar are set to make their debuts in the competition Monday for their Saudi Arabian clubs.

“AFG are an integrated sports marketing agency highly experienced in delivering the full spectrum of services and achieving various business outputs, reinforcing the assurance of a smooth transition from the AFC’s previous commercial partners,” the Asian soccer body said.

No value was disclosed for the five-year partnership, but the Malaysia-based AFC said it would help “continue its investment into its member associations and regional associations, deliver all its popular competitions, grow its fan base, and cultivate a flourishing football community across the continent.”

Key to the broadcast portfolio is the next men’s Asian Cup competition, which will be played from Jan. 12 to Feb. 10 in Qatar.

The next Women’s Asian Cup will be in 2026 in a host country set to be picked this year. The AFC has said Australia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan are the candidates.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer