January 7 – The 2023 Asian Cup, the region’s flagship competition for national teams, will take place in China between June 16 and July 16 across 10 cities – its longest ever edition.
The extension marks the latest indication of the growth of the Asian game at elite level and represents another coup for China in its bid to be regarded as one of the hubs of global sporting competition.
The 18th edition of the tournament will be three more days than the 28-day showpiece in the United Arab Emirates in 2019 when the competition was expanded from 16 to 24 teams.
The Asian Football Confederation said the decision to lengthen the event was to ensure teams were given the optimum recovery time taking into consideration the travelling distance across the ten cities in China, which is hosting the tournament for the second time after organising it in 2004 and is strongly fancied to stage the 2030 World Cup.
“The AFC Asian Cup continues to grow in stature and in prestige, with each edition surpassing all expectations and we are confident that the upcoming tournament in China PR will be the biggest and greatest in Asian football history,” AFC general secretary Dato’ Windsor John said.
“We know that the Local Organising Committee and the Chinese Football Association will deliver a truly historic tournament in 2023. Already, we have seen the LOC make incredible progress in terms of infrastructure development despite the challenges we have seen across the world.”
Shi Qiang, the general secretary of the LOC, commented: “With the confirmation of the competition dates, the LOC will be able to organise the preparatory work precisely and systematically. Now the preparatory work, including professional football stadium construction, competition organisation, event support, volunteers’ program, is proceeding well as scheduled. We will work together with the AFC, to host a wonderful tournament.”
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