AFC clears path for fast-track selection of new host to replace China for 2023 Asian Cup

May 18 – The AFC has cleared a fast track path to appoint a new host for the AFC Asian Cup 2023 following the withdrawal of China, 14 months before the event’s kick off.

Normally the full congress would have to vote on the appointment of a host for the AFC’s blue riband national team event that was successfully expanded to 24 teams with its 2019 edition in the UAE.

But considering the emergency situation of needing to find a new host and create enough time for that host to deliver the event at the right level, a proposal submitted by the AFC executive committee, and passed by today’s AFC Congress, will see the selection of a new host decided by the executive committee.

This decision will be taken following the operation of a bidding process by the AFC administration.

The AFC is already locked in the process of deciding hosts for the 2027 edition of the Asian Cup, with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and India leading the bidding.

Under the process to find a new host for 2023, the Congress mandated the AFC administration “ to define the terms and requirements of an expedited bidding process to find a replacement host for the competition and to operate the same (including, without limitation, determining the rules applicable to the bidding process, addressing any scheduling matters, defining the requirements for the bidding and hosting, defining the criteria for the selection of the host of the event, and setting the applicable technical and other requirements).”

Once the bidding process is concluded the AFC administration will then submit a report to the AFC Executive Committee who will “have the power to take a final decision on the selection of the replacement host”.

The administration now has to work fast across its vast region to find a host, but also a balance for the future between its powerful East and West regions.

“Further details on the host selection process for the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ will be communicated in due course,” said the AFC.

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