China withdraws as the host of the Asian Cup due to the extreme outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic ransacking the nation. The Asian tournament which is scheduled for 16 June to 16 July 2023 was to be held in over 10 cities in China but will now be hosted in a different country, the Asian Football Federation has confirmed.
The Asian Cup is a quadrennial men’s football tournament organized by the AFC, with 24 nations in participation. It is the second oldest-known football tournament after Copa América. The last edition was held in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar. Qatar won it over Japan in 2019.
The Asian Football Federation acknowledged China’s withdrawal and has thanked the Nation, with a plan to be initiated soon for a new venue in a statement released.
“The AFC appreciates that China PR, the CFA, and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 LOC have made this very difficult but necessary decision in the collective interests of the AFC Asian Cup 2023, which has also provided the AFC the required time to assess the situation regarding the hosting of the AFC Asian Cup 2023,”
“The AFC will continue to work closely with its commercial partners and stakeholders to chart the course forward, and remains grateful to them for their understanding and support during this period.”
This would have been China’s second time hosting the tournament since 2004 when they reached the final and lost to Japan by 3-1 in the final