August 27 – World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar have become the first to submit their full bid documentation to host the AFC Asian Cup in 2027.
Qatar, who are current Asian Cup champions following their surprise win in 2019 in the UAE, have previously hosted the Asian Cup in 1988 and 2011.
To win the bid they will need to overcome India, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan who all submitted expressions of interest by the end June deadline.
In 2019 the AFC expanded the competition from 16 to 24 teams. The tournament marked a major step forward both in organisation and delivery, media exposure and competitiveness.
With the 2023 edition awarded to China, the AFC took the decision to bring forward the bidding for 2027 hosting to allow bidding nations the opportunity and time to plan and build any necessary infrastructure requirements for the expanded competition.
The host is expected to be announced in 2021.
The Asian Cup has generally alternated between the regions East and West zones. With China hosting 2023, the traditional switch to the West zone for 2027 would suggest Iran, Saudi Arabia and Qatar as favourites. However, the emergence of India and Uzbekistan both on the pitch at the 2019 event, but also with a wider a international ambition to put their football and countries on a global football stage, could bring change to the alternate east/west hosting.
Qatar Football Association’s (QFA) bid book was presented by the country’s Ambassador to Malaysia HE Fahad bin Mohammed Kafood (pictured right) to AFC general secretary Windsor John at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
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