South Korea pull out of 2023 Asian Cup bid leaving road clear for China

May 16 – South Korea have pulled out of their bid to host the 2023 Asian Cup, leaving China as the last remaining bidder for the AFC’s 24-team blue riband event.

The Korea Football Association’s (KFA) secretary general Chun Han-jin said said it had informed the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and that it had decided to focus its attention on its bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup. That bid was initially anticipated to be a joint Korean bid with North Korea, but the South have announced that they are now going solo

China first submitted a bid for the 2019 Asian Cup in 2013 but pulled out – the 2019 Asian Cup was played in January in the UAE – in favour of focussing on its own football development but saying it would be better prepared for  hosting in 2023.

Initially China was also up against India, Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand. The South Koreans were the last to drop out after India had withdrawn saying that it was interested in hosting 2027.

The 2023 edition of the Asian Cup will be the 18th. China last hosted the Asian Cup in 2004, reaching the final but losing to Japan 3-1. In the UAE this year, China reached the quarterfinals but lost 3-0 to Iran.

The host nation for the 2023 Asian Cup will be announced formally on June 4 at the AFC Congress on the eve of the FIFA Congress in Paris.

Previously China has suggested nine cities as potential host venues for the tournament: Beijing, Dalian, Nanjing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Qingdao, Changsha, Guangzhou and Wuhan.

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