Five countries in race to host 2027 Asian Cup

Updated 02 Jul 2020

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Qatar's players celebrate their victory during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup final football match between Japan and Qatar at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on February 1, 2019.  — AFP/File
Qatar's players celebrate their victory during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup final football match between Japan and Qatar at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on February 1, 2019. — AFP/File

KUALA LUMPUR: Uzbekistan has joined India, Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the contest to host the 2027 Asian Cup, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Wednesday.

Uzbekistan’s football federation entered the contest by the June 30 deadline and the AFC said it would choose a host next year without giving more details.

Iran and Qatar have already staged the tournament twice previously, most recently in 1976 and 2011 respectively.

India seeks to add to a hosting portfolio that includes the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup and the delayed women’s 2020 Under-17 World Cup for FIFA which now kicks off next February.

“The AFC will now work with each bidding member association on the delivery of the necessary bidding documentation ... and will announce the host for the 19th edition of the AFC Asian Cup in 2021,” the continental governing body said in a statement.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa hailed the “biggest-ever edition” in the United Arab Emirates last year and said he expected China to surpass all expectations in 2023.

The global activist group Sport & Rights Alliance has urged the AFC to apply the same rights standards in bidding for and hosting the Asian Cup as FIFA set for the 2026 World Cup that the United States, Mexico and Canada will co-host.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2020