Following the Asian Football Confederation’s annual executive committee meeting in Hong Kong yesterday (Sunday), the AFC announced plans to appoint hosts for the 2027 Asian Cup “as soon as possible” to allow for for more preparation time.
AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa said: “At the AFC 29th Congress in Paris, we chose the People’s Republic of China as the next hosts of the AFC Asian Cup in 2023. And I know that China PR will deliver a world class event – in keeping with the stature of the AFC Asian Cup.”
“China PR has just four years in which to prepare, and although they are extremely capable, I would like to allow future hosts even more time. With the expanded format, which was launched in the United Arab Emirates in 2019, we have 24 teams and 51 matches and so we need eight-to-ten world-class stadiums.
“The scale of the tournament now may mean some construction work, which of course takes planning and time. We need to develop the best facilities for players, fans and for our broadcast and commercial partners in line with the stature of the AFC Asian Cup as a world-class event.”
The AFC announced – subject to the approval of the Fifa Council – that Asia will have an additional three-and-a-half slots at the Club World Cup in 2021, in addition to the one slot which has already been awarded to the winner of the 2019 AFC Champions League, Saudi Arabia Pro League’s Al-Hilal.
One slot will go to the host member association, which is China, and one each for the AFC East and West zone champions, with the half slot contested by the winners of a play-off between the two losing finalists from the two zones.
The AFC executive committee also approved that the AFC Annual Awards 2020 will be held in Qatar, and the AFC’s 30th Congress will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on April 16, 2020.
The AFC Annual Awards recognises the year’s most successful players, coaches and member associations, and culminates with the presentation of the AFC player of the year and AFC women’s player of the year awards.