China had recently relinquished the hosting rights of the tournaments.
In May, China gave up as the host of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 due to increasing Covid concerns in the country. The Asian Football Confederation has now invited bids for the new hosts. The bids will be accepted till 30th June. The competition will be played from 16th June to 16th July 2023. As per sources, India is not interested to bid for hosting the event.
Here in this article, we will look at five possible destinations for AFC Asian Cup 2023.
If Thailand host the competition, it wouldn’t be for the first time. In the past, they have hosted it twice – 1972 and 2007 (alongside Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam). The country has some fascinating crowds as well. European football is well appreciated there. Also, the stadiums out there are brilliant. The Bangkok-based Rajamangala Stadium with a capacity of 49,000+ is perhaps the best. The national team generally uses this ground for their matches. Apart from that, Buriram United’s home ground Chang Arena is also a delightful one.
4. United Arab Emirates
The previous edition of the competition in 2019 was hosted by UAE. They also staged the event back in 1996. Thus, they surely have the experience and facilities required to host an event of this stature. The Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi is one of the finest. It was established in 2014 and holds a capacity of 25,000. Even the Zayed Sports City Stadium (45,000 capacity), which is the largest multi-purpose stadium in the country is an admirable venue to host AFC-standard matches. There have been reports claiming UAE has more soccer craze than Brazil!
Qatar will be hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022. Thus, keeping in mind the first-class facilities available, they can be one of the finest hosts of the event. They have some excellent stadiums which will be witnessed in a few months. However, the controversy was evident regarding the work conditions of the labourers and the country faced backlashes for hosting the World Cup as well. Also, whether they’ll be interested in hosting two massively important events on succession is of doubt.
2. South Korea
South Korea is one of the most football-enriched countries in Asia. It is also the third-best FIFA-ranked Asian country after Iran and Japan. In the FIFA World Cup 2018, they defeated Germany as well. As per the crowd, they are undoubtedly one of the best in Asia. It will be a privilege for them to host the competition as they had staged the second edition of the AFC Asian Cup way back in 1960. Since then, they haven’t organized the competition. The country has five stadiums with a capacity of 40,000 (approximate). The Seoul World Cup Stadium is a standout with a tenacity of 66,704.
Japan have been very much interested in hosting the AFC Asian Cup 2023. Reportedly, Japan Football Association chairman Kozo Tashima had informed the local media of the country’s desire to host it. Japan is ranked 23rd in FIFA. Also, it is one of the most successful footballing countries in Asia. Japan had hosted the competition way back in 1992. In 2002, they also staged the FIFA World Cup. The country has some brilliant stadiums. Two examples can be those of the Yokohama-based Nissan Stadium and Fukuroi-based Shizouka Stadium ECOPA. They have capacities of 72,327 and 50,889, respectively. Also, the Saitama Stadium, which is used by Urawa Red Diamonds, comprises a large capacity of 63,700.