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Saudi Arabia to host 2027 AFC Asian Cup after India withdraws Name

Story Highlights:

  • AIFF withdraws name to host 2027 AFC Asian Cup
  • Saudi Arabia lone contender now
  • 2023 edition will be held in Qatar 

New Delhi: India on Monday withdrew its bid to host the 2027 AFC Asian Cup. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has said that hosting big-ticket events is not one of its priorities at the moment. India had earlier submitted a bid to host the 2027 Asia Cup, but now India has withdrawn its name. In such a situation, Saudi Arabia is the only contender to host this tournament. 

Earlier countries like Iran and Uzbekistan had also shown interest in hosting this tournament, but both these countries were also out of the hosting race in October. After this, only India and Saudi Arabia were left in the bidding countries to host this tournament.

India had bid to host the tournament in 2020 with much fanfare after Praful Patel became the AIFF President. However, the current board, led by new AIFF president Kalyan Choubey, believes that “building the foundation of the football structure” at the grassroots level and developing young players is more important than hosting big events.

“As per the strategic roadmap of the federation, which will be announced later this month, the AIFF management thinks hosting of big events doesn’t fit into the federation’s strategic priorities. Our current focus is building the foundations of proper footballing structure before thinking of hosting bigger events like the AFC Asian Cup”, the AIFF said in a release, quoting its executive committee.

The 2023 edition of the AFC Asian Cup will be held in Qatar after the original host China expressed its inability to hold the tournament due to the COVID-19 situation in that country.

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