The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Saturday confirmed that China will no longer host the 2023 Asian Cup finals due to the COVID-19 situation in the country and that the authorities will decide on a new host in due course.
The Asian Cup which is held every four years was scheduled to take place across China from June 16 to July 16 next year, with the Chinese Football Association (CFA) admitted that it would not be possible for them to host the tournament.
"The Asian Football Confederation has been officially informed by the CFA (Chinese Football Association) that it would not be able to host the AFC Asian Cup 2023. The AFC acknowledges the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the relinquishment by China PR of its hosting rights." the Asian Football Confederation said in a statement.
The Asian Cup is the latest international sporting event to be affected by the COVID-19 situation in China, with the Olympic Council of Asia postponing the Asian Games which was initially scheduled to be held in in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in September.
Most international sporting events in China have been postponed or cancelled since the start of the pandemic, with the notable exception of the Winter Olympics, which went ahead in Beijing under strict health controls in February.