The Asian Football Confederation said on Monday that South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, and Qatar have filed expressions of interest to take over from China as the Asian Cup’s hosts. The AFC’s executive committee announced that the four organisations had until August 31 to submit their bid materials, and that the new host will be revealed on October 17.
The 24-team competition was supposed to be held in China in June and July of the following year, but it was moved as a result of the nation’s efforts to adhere to a zero-COVID-19 policy.
The only time South Korea hosted the finals, they also won the inaugural Asian Cup in 1956 and kept the trophy as hosts four years later. Since sharing the 2002 World Cup with Japan, the nation has not hosted a significant soccer event.
The 2015 Asian Cup champions, Australia, stated that the timing and “substantial” government financing would determine whether or not they would submit a bid. As co-hosts alongside New Zealand of the Women’s World Cup, which begins on July 20, Australia already has a full 2023. This is especially indicated by the number of active betting sites in Australia popping up by the minute. It’s looking like a very eventful year for Australia!
A Football Australia spokesperson said, ‘Our preference would be to host in Feb 2024, so we are not clashing with the FIFA WWC 2023. We are liaising with governments at all levels to gauge interest levels before contemplating a bid, as any events of this stature require significant government funding and support.’
This year’s Men’s World Cup will be held in Qatar from November 21 to December 18. In 1988 and 2011, they hosted the Asian Cup twice, and in 2019 they took first place. Indonesia was one of the four co-hosts of the 2007 Asian Cup.
With a final bid decision due by next March, Football Australia said that it had also shown interest in hosting the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup. Australia was eliminated from the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup quarterfinals, which were held in India in January-February and won by China.