Indian Football

Asian Cup: AFC actively looking for new hosts following China's withdrawal

Arjun Singh Devgan
China recently withdrew as hosts of 2023 AFC Asian Cup
China recently withdrew as hosts of 2023 AFC Asian Cup / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Tuesday issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) invitation to all of its member associations asking for them to host the 2023 Asian Cup after after China withdrew as hosts due to the COVID-19 situation in the country.

There is just a week to go for the start of the third and final qualification round of the main tournament, as the fixtures to select 11 teams for the 2023 edition is scheduled to be played from June 8 to 14 across various venues in Asia.

"Following China's decision to withdraw as hosts of the Asian Cup, the recent 32nd AFC Congress had provided the mandate to the AFC Administration to define the terms and requirements of an expedited bidding process to find a replacement host for the competition," the AFC said in a statement.

Following the conclusion of the bidding process, the AFC Administration will submit a report with its recommendations to its Executive Committee, which will then select the new host of the 2023 tournament. The deadline for interested member associations to submit their EoI to host the tournament is June 30, 2022.

The AFC also have to decide on whether China still qualify for the direct entry spot they were given before they withdrew as hosts. It is understood that the direct entry position will be given to the new host in case they fail to qualify for the main tournament during the qualifiers.

India for their part have been drawn in Group D along with Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Cambodia with all of their games taking place at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.