August 3 – The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) have reasserted their commitment towards hosting the 2027 Asian Cup finals following the AFC’s announcement that the date for the bid award has moved back in 2022.
Ibrahim Alkassim, secretary general of SAFF, said: “From a technical standpoint, the postponement changes relatively little for our candidature. We have many plans and initiatives related to the bid already underway. Moreover, the support for our bid from our government, private sector and general population has been tremendous, as has that from many of our colleagues across the AFC Member Associations.”
The decision to postpone the decision of hosts for the Asian Cup 2027 that was originally expected at the November AFC Congress, was taken due to the current covid travel restrictions across the world’s largest confederation, making technical inspection visits to the associations difficult.
Saudi Arabia are bidding to host their first ever AFC Asian Cup, having won the tournament three times in 1984, 1988 and 1996. They launched their bid under the banner ‘Forward for Asia’ indicating the Kingdom’s ambition to use the tournament to take the next step forward for Asian football, by providing opportunities for a ‘New Experience, a New Exchange and a New Expansion’.
“The AFC Asian Cup 2027 in Saudi Arabia would be a pivotal moment for the future of Saudi Arabia and Asian football, and we are more determined than ever to leave a lasting legacy for both,” said Alkassim.
Yasser Almisehal, President of SAFF, said: “We fully support the AFC’s decision to postpone the selection for the host of the AFC Asian Cup 2027. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in many countries across Asia remains very serious, and we continue to offer our support to all those AFC Member Associations facing challenges. It is with the same spirit of solidarity that we want to continue our efforts to bid to host the AFC Asian Cup 2027, and the response we have had from countries across Asia for our candidature leaves us in no doubt that our plans and efforts must be sustained.”
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com