The Asian Football Confederation has been officially notified by the All India Football Federation of their decision to withdraw their bid from the AFC Asian Cup 2027 host selection process.
The AIFF’s Executive Committee made the decision as per the federation’s ‘roadmap,’ which is expected to be announced later in December.
“Our current focus is building the foundations of proper footballing structure before thinking of hosting bigger events like the AFC Asian Cup,” said the AIFF Executive Committee in a statement.
The AFC Executive Committee had shortlisted the AIFF and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation’s bids to host the 2027 edition of the continental event during its meeting on October 17, 2022. The AFC Congress is to decide the final host in Manama, Bahrain, in February 2023.
Following the withdrawal of the AIFF bid, SAFF’s bid to host the 19th edition of the Asian Cup in 2027 will now be the only one presented to the 33rd AFC Congress for consideration.
The AFC had shortlisted AIFF’s bid while the country was in the midst of hosting the Fifa U17 Women’s World Cup.
India’s best performance at the Asian Cup was the runner-up finish in 1964. The country has never hosted the event.
In August, the AIFF had been suspended by Fifa after deeming there was ‘third party interference’ as the national body’s affairs were being handled by the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators.
The suspension was lifted once Fifa’s demands were met by a Supreme Court order dated August 22.
Subsequently, former India goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey was elected as AIFF president.
“India has always been a wonderful and efficient host to big tournaments, which was amply demonstrated in the recently concluded Fifa U17 Women’s World Cup. However, the EC has decided that the overall strategy of the Federation currently remains on focusing on the fundamental goals to strengthen our football at every level from grassroots to youth development,” Chaubey said in a statement.
“At the same time, we must also strengthen our stakeholders, especially the State Associations and work closely with the clubs to bring about a change in every aspect of football at the domestic level. All such aspects will truly be implemented when the Roadmap is announced later this month.”