Mumbai: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Tuesday issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) invitation to all of its member associations to host the AFC Asian Cup 2023 after China had withdrawn as host, citing the circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and their Zero-Covid policy.
The third and final qualification rounds to select 11 teams for the tournament proper are set to be played from June 8-14 across various venues. India are in Group D with Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Cambodia as other participants and will play at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.
“Following China PR’s decision to withdraw as hosts of the AFC Asian Cup 2023, the recent 32nd AFC Congress 2022 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 release on Tuesday.
“Following the conclusion of the bidding process, the AFC Administration will submit a report with its recommendations to the AFC Executive Committee, which will then select the new host of the AFC Asian Cup 2023,” the release said..
The deadline to submit EoI to host the Asian Football Confederation Cup 2023 is June 30.
The Asian Football Confederation also has to decide the direct entry spot that was given to China before they withdrew as host. The position may go to the new host in case it fails to make it to the qualifiers.
In all 24 teams will participate in the finals of the Asian Cup, which is the flagship men’s tournament for Asian Football Confederation members. Qatar are the defending champions having won the event in 2019.