Qatar to host 2023 Asian Cup after China’s Covid pull-out

World Cup host, Qatar will stage the 2023 Asian Cup, the Asian Football Confederation said on Monday, after China withdrew earlier this year because of Covid.

China in June 2019 won the bid to host the event but pulled out in May because of its “zero-Covid” policy, leaving the AFC scrambling to find a new host for its flagship men’s 24-team football tournament.

The tournament had been due to be held in 10 Chinese cities from June 16 to July 16 next year.

South Korea and Indonesia were the other two countries in the running after China’s withdrawal, but Qatar got the nod.

“The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) executive committee has today confirmed the Qatar Football Association (QFA) as the host association for the AFC Asian Cup 2023,” the Malaysia-based AFC said in a statement.

The AFC did not give dates for the Asian Cup. It also said its executive committee has shortlisted India and Saudi Arabia for the 2027 Asian Cup.

AFC president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said Qatar is ready to put on the event despite the short lead time to prepare. It will also host the World Cup starting next month.

The AFC chief hailed Qatar’s “existing world-class infrastructure and unrivalled hosting capabilities”.



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