The Asian Football Confederation Executive Committee on Monday confirmed Qatar as host for the AFC Asian Cup 2023.

China had been awarded hosting rights for the event that is scheduled to take place in June next year. However, in May this year, the country expressed its inability to host the 24-team competition due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Qatar will now hold the event, just months after it hosts the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

“On behalf of the AFC and the Asian football family, I want to congratulate the Qatar Football Association on being awarded the hosting rights of the upcoming edition of the AFC Asian Cup,” said AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.

“We must also thank the Football Association of Indonesia and the Korea Football Association for outlining their intentions to stage the tournament.

“Given the short lead time in preparation, we know that the hard work begins immediately but with their existing world-class infrastructure and unrivalled hosting capabilities, we are confident that Qatar will stage a worthy spectacle befitting the prestige and stature of Asia’s crown jewel.”

Qatar are the reigning AFC Asian Cup champions and will be hosting the continent’s most prestigious men’s tournament for the third time after staging the 1988 and 2011 editions.

India in contention to host 2027 event

The AFC Executive Committee also deliberated upon the bidding proposals for the AFC Asian Cup 2027 and shortlisted the All India Football Federation and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation as the final two bidders with the hosting decision to be taken by the AFC Congress at its next meeting in February 2023.

The decision brings to a close the bid proposal of the QFA who were considered to have withdrawn from the 2027 race following their successful 2023 bid in accordance with the applicable bidding regulations.

The AFC President added: “Again, we thank our three Member Associations – the All India Football Federation, the Qatar Football Association and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation - for submitting strong bids to host the AFC Asian Cup 2027.”