The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced on Monday that defending champions Qatar will stage the Asian Cup in 2023 replacing the original hosts China after waving off the proposals from South Korea and Indonesia.
In the pursuit of zero-COVID policy, China, who were awarded the rights to host the continental championship in 2019, gave up the rights to host the event earlier this year.
AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said in a statement, "On behalf of the AFC and the Asian football family, I want to congratulate the Qatar Football Association on being awarded the hosting rights of the upcoming edition of the AFC Asian Cup. We must also thank the Football Association of Indonesia and the Korea Football Association for outlining their intentions to stage the tournament."
He added, "Qatar's capabilities and track record in hosting major international sporting events and their meticulous attention to detail are well admired throughout the globe. With their existing world-class infrastructure and unrivalled hosting capabilities, we are confident that Qatar will stage a worthy spectacle befitting the prestige and stature of Asia's crown jewel."
Additionally, the AFC Executive Committee shortlisted the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) as the final two contenders to host the 2027 tournament. The hosting rights will be handed by the AFC at its next meeting in February 2023.
As Qatar won the hosting rights, the tournament is expected to shift to the later months in 2023 or into early 2024 from its original dates in June and July of 2023 to avoid the summer heat.