Asian Cup 2027 hosting deadline extended over coronavirus

Expressions of interest will now be accepted until June 30, three months after the original deadline of March 31, the AFC said in a statement.

Qatar is the defending AFC Asian Cup champion.   -  REUTERS

The Asian Football Confederation extended the deadline for preliminary bids for the 2027 Asian Cup on Thursday after the coronavirus pandemic caused major problems for football administrations.

Expressions of interest will now be accepted until June 30, three months after the original deadline of March 31, the AFC said in a statement.

“The decision was taken in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic to allow member associations, many of whom have been affected by the global outbreak, sufficient time to meet their internal processes and timelines,” it said.

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China will host the next Asian Cup in 2023 but Saudi Arabia, which has a growing portfolio of large-scale sports events, is the only country so far to throw its hat in the ring for 2027.

Qualifying for the 2023 Asian Cup, like most other football worldwide, has been put on hold as countries batten down to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Qatar, host of the next FIFA World Cup in 2022, won the 2019 Asian Cup where the tournament expanded from 16 to 24 teams.

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