From The Star, a Malaysian newspaper:
The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) secretary general, Tan Sri P. Alagendra, said yesterday that the UAE withdrew as hosts due to the global economic downturn.
“We are happy that the MHF responded positively at such a short notice to stage the tournament as scheduled because we cannot change the dates of competition,” he said.
The tournament offers the winners an automatic berth to the 2010 World Cup Finals. And the next four finishers will get to compete in qualifying tournaments in November.
Alagendra added that Dubai was chosen to host the tournament to give hockey in the Gulf region a boost after Qatar’s successful staging of the 2006 Asian Games in Doha.
“It is unfortunate that they (Dubai) are unable to host it. The Asia Cup is an important tournament for teams eyeing places in the World Cup Finals. Many of them are well into their preparations and we cannot postpone it at this stage,” he said.