KUALA LUMPUR: India and Saudi Arabia have emerged as two final bidders to host the 2027 edition of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup.
Qatar, who are the current Asian champions were interested to host the 2027 Asian Cup, but had to drop out after it was announced as hosts for the 2023 edition.
China was to host the 2023 Asian Cup but they announced their withdrawal, forcing AFC to look for a new host.
Uzbekistan and Iran were also interested in hosting the Asian Cup 2027, but withdrew their bids on December 14, 2020 and October 13, 2022 respectively.
The final decision about hosting AFC Asian Cup 2027 will be taken during the AFC Congress’ next meeting scheduled for February 2023. “In the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, we have two exemplary bids,” Olympics.com quoted AFC president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa as saying.
If AIFF manages to win the bid, it will be for the first time ever that India will host the continental tournament. Three-time champions Saudi Arabia are also looking to host their maiden AFC Asian Cup. The previous edition of AFC Asian Cup was held in 2019 in UAE. India made a group-stage exit in that tournament.
India have qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2023, Qatar, following their table-topping performance in the third round of qualifiers. (ANI)