Asian Cup organisers criticise merchandising

DOHA - Asian Cup organisers on Friday blamed their marketing partners following mounting criticism over a lack of merchandising on sale at the tournament.

Qatari capital's lavish shopping malls and five stadiums used for the 16-team tournament was the scene of a fruitless search for Asian Cup memorabilia, an important revenue stream for major international events.

Local Organising Committee director Jassim Al Romaihi told Reuters the lack of merchandise was down to sports marketing, media and management firm World Sports Group (WSG) who had a contract with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) organisers.

"I'm very disappointed," Al Romaihi said. "It's a memory for everybody to have some souvenirs.

"Unfortunately this has been appointed to World Sports Group according to the contract between AFC and them and they are in charge of merchandising.

"We tried a couple of times with WSG but feedback was not positive so we will try and reach something with them to give something to the people at least as a memory free of charge."

When asked by Reuters for a comment on merchandising, a spokesperson for WSG said the company would be releasing a statement on the issue on Saturday.