Qatar will host the 2023 Asian Cup of Football after being granted the hosting rights by the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Executive Committee.

Qatar will replace China as the host after the country had to back out from the duties due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The tournament is also likely to be moved from mid-2023 to early 2024 to avoid the heat of the Gulf summer.

South Korea and Indonesia were also in contention for the hosting duties before AFC selected Qatar.

“Qatar’s capabilities and track record in hosting major international sporting events and their meticulous attention to detail are well admired throughout the globe,” AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said in a statement.

“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.”

The AFC Executive Committee also shortlisted the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) as the final two bidders for the 2027 edition of the event. The host will be decided by the AFC Congress at its next meeting in February 2023.

Shaikh Salman also used the occasion to thank FIFA President Gianni Infantino for his support of the Asian football family and reiterated the AFC’s support for President Infantino’s re-election to the position of FIFA President.

Qatar is the defending champion of the Asian Cup and has already hosted the tournament in 1988 and 2011. It will also host the FIFA World Cup in November this year.

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