AFC extends 2027 Asian Cup bid deadline

Qatar's players celebrate their victory during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup final (by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has granted a three-month extension to the deadline for member associations to submit expressions of interest to host the 2027 Asian Cup, with Saudi Arabia the only country to have announced its intention to bid.

The deadline had been March 31, but the AFC today (Thursday) extended this to June 30.

The Malaysia-based body said: “The decision was taken in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic to allow member associations, many of whom have been affected by the global outbreak, sufficient time to meet their internal processes and timelines.”

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) submitted its application to host the 2027 Asian Cup in February. The AFC’s national team showpiece takes place every four years and the governing body in December said it would look to appoint hosts for the 2027 tournament “as soon as possible” to allow for more preparation time.

The most recent edition of the Asian Cup was held last year in the United Arab Emirates, with Qatar defeating Japan in the final to win the tournament for the first time. Last year’s tournament featured 24 teams for the first time instead of 16.

China was confirmed as the host nation of the 2023 edition back in June. The tournament will take place across 10 host cities: Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Chengdu, Xi’an, Dalian, Qingdao, Xiamen and Suzhou.