October 3 – Qatar will host the 16-team U-23 Asian Cup in 2024, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has confirmed.
The World Cup host nation will add another major international tournament to its resume after the AFC chose Qatar over the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Uzbekistan to stage the youth competition in 2024 following an evaluation of all the bids, including a risk assessment.
Qatar’s latest successful bid is significant in the race for the 2023 Asian Cup hosting rights. Last month Australia, who will co-host next year’s Women’s World Cup, withdrew from the bidding race after closer scrutiny of the bidding requirements.
That decision left South Korea and Qatar in pole position to land the 2023 finals. The Koreans enjoy government support but the country’s major commercial sponsors have not yet stepped in. Boasting a track record in organising major sporting events, Qatar will host the first World Cup in the Middle East later this year.
A rank-outsider, Indonesia is also bidding for the tournament but this weekend at least 125 football fans died following a stampede at the match Arema – Persebaya Surabaya, all but extinguishing the little hope Indonesia had to stage the tournament.
The AFC will take a final host decision on the 2023 host on October 17. Aside from awarding the hosting rights for the 2024 tournament, the AFC Committee also approved the proposal to adopt a singular system to align other AFC competitions with the AFC Asian Cup schedule.
The top three teams in U23 Asian Cup tournament in Qatar will qualify for the Olympics in France, while the fourth-best team will have a play-off for qualification against a nation from CAF. Saudi Arabia are the defending champions.
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