DUSHANBE, May 12, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- Dushanbe’s Football Club Istiqlol is participating in the 2011 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President’s Cup.

The 2011 AFC President''s Cup is the seventh edition of the AFC President''s Cup.  It is a football competition for "emerging countries" by the Asian Football Confederation.  Teams from 12 member associations will compete.  The top two teams from each group will qualify for the six-team finals to be played at a centralized venue.  The promoted six teams will be divided into two groups of three teams each.  Top two teams from each group will meet in the final.

Istiqlol together with Yadanarbon Football Club, Yeedzin Football Club and Jabal Al Mukaber is placed in Group “B.”

Tajik soccer players will play their first qualification match against Yadanarbon Football Club on May 13.  Yadanarbon Football Club is a Burmese football club, based at Bahtoo Stadium, in Mandalay, Myanmar.

Football Club Istiqlol (Dushanbe) was established in November 2007, under the Presidency of Shohruh Saidov. In 2008, Istiqlol competed in Tajikistan First Division under the guidance of head coach Kanat Latifov and won all 35 games and qualified for Tajik League.

In 2009, in its debut in the Tajik League, led by new head coach Salohiddin Ghafourov, the team finished fourth. The team had some experienced players some young players mostly from Tajikistan national under-17 football team that won bronze in AFC U-17 Championship 2006 and reached round 16 at 2007 FIFA U-17 World Championship.  In 2009, the Dushanbe-based club won two trophies - the traditional winter-spring tournament ''Rustam Doltabayev’ and the National Cup of the Republic.

In 2010, under coach Alimjon Rafiqov Istiqlol made ​​a kind of "hat-trick by winning the Super Bowl, the national cup and championship in Tajikistan.

Winning the championship in Tajikistan in the season-2010, FC Istiqlol first time in history has the right to participate in the 2011 AFC President''s Cup.