India set to bid for 2027 AFC Asian Cup

Making the announcement in New Delhi, AIFF president Praful Patel sounded extremely optimistic of India’s prospects of hosting the 2027 AFC Asian Cup.

All India Football Federation president Praful Patel and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju at the announcement of India's bid for the 2027 AFC Asian Cup on Wednesday.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

India is set to bid for the 2027 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, confident of getting the nod ahead of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Making the announcement here on Wednesday, All India Football Federation president Praful Patel sounded extremely optimistic of India’s prospects of playing host to the prestigious quadrennial competition. The last date for submitting the bid documents is December 18 and the AFC is likely to announce the winning bid in the second quarter of 2021.

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When Sportstar asked Patel how realistic were India’s chances of clinching the bid ahead of competitors like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, he said, “Our chances are bright. Qatar is hosting the next World Cup and Saudi Arabia is a leading football nation in the continent. That does not mean we don’t have a chance.

“As you are aware, China is hosting the next edition of the Asian Cup (in 2023). So why can’t we impress the AFC to give us an opportunity to host the event? After all, we got to host the 2017 FIFA under-17 World Cup and two other major events in 2022 (the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and the AFC Women’s Asian Cup) by outbidding other contenders.”

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju assured all help from the Union Government and reiterated his commitment to do his best for the National Sports Federations to bring in “big events” to the country.

Saudi Arabia, like India, has not hosted this event before. Qatar, the host of the 2022 World Cup, hosted the Asian Cup in 1988 and 2011.

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