China will not host AFC Asian Cup 2023 due to increase in COVID-19 cases

0

The
continent’s
football
governing
body

AFC

said
it
has
been
officially
informed
by
the
Chinese
association
that
it
would
not
be
able
to
host
the
continental
showpiece
next
year.

“Following
extensive
discussions
with
the
Chinese
Football
Association,
the
Asian
Football
Confederation
(AFC)
has
been
officially
informed
by
the
CFA
that
it
would
not
be
able
to
host
the
AFC
Asian
Cup
2023,”
the
AFC
said
in
a
statement.

China
were
named
as
hosts
of
the
2023
AFC
Asian
Cup
in
June
2019,
at
the
AFC
Extraordinary
Congress
in
Paris.
The
24-team
competition
was
to
be
hosted
across
10
Chinese
cities
from
June
16
to
July
16
next
year.

“The
AFC
acknowledges
the
exceptional
circumstances
caused
by
the
COVID-19
pandemic,
which
led
to
the
relinquishment
by
China
PR
of
its
hosting
rights,”
the
AFC
said.

The
Indian
team
is
vying
for
a
place
in
the
2023
AFC
Asian
Cup
and
will
feature
in
the
final
qualifying
round
to
be
held
in
Kolkata
next
month.
The
AFC
said
it
worked
closely
with
the
CFA
and
the
Local
Organising
Committee
(LOC)
during
the
preparations
and
several
milestones
were
achieved,
including
the
launch
of
the
tournament
logo
and
the
unveiling
of
the
newly
completed
Shanghai
Pudong
Football
Stadium
last
year.

“The
AFC
appreciates
that
China
PR,
the
CFA
and
the
AFC
Asian
Cup
China
2023
LOC
have
made
this
very
difficult
but
necessary
decision
in
the
collective
interests…which
has
also
provided
the
AFC
the
required
time
to
assess
the
situation
regarding
the
hosting
of
the
AFC
Asian
Cup
2023.”

The
AFC
said
it
will
continue
to
work
closely
with
its
commercial
partners
and
stakeholders
to
chart
out
the
future
course
of
action.

2022
FIFA
World
Cup
hosts
Qatar
are
the
defending
AFC
Asian
Cup
champions.
The
Al
Annabi
had
defeated
former
champions
Japan
3-1
in
the
final
held
at
the
UAE
in
2019.

Asian
Games
2022
postponed
amid
COVID
surge
in
China:
OCA

This
is
the
second
high-profile
event
that
is
being
cancelled/put
off
due
to
the
spike
in
COVID-19
cases
in
China.

It
may
be
recalled
that
the
Hangzhou
Asian
Games
2022,
which
was
scheduled
to
take
place
from
September
10
to
25,
was
also
postponed
indefinitely
amid
a
recent
surge
in
COVID-19
cases
in
China,
a
development
that
was
on
expected
lines
and
evoked
mixed
reactions
from
Indian
athletes.

An
air
of
uncertainty
had
been
hovering
over
the
19th
edition
of
the
multi-sports
Games
ever
since
Shanghai
came
under
a
fresh
wave
of
the
COVID-19
pandemic,
forcing
a
lockdown
in
the
city.

China

There
has
been
a
spike
in
COVID-19
cases
in
China

The
Olympic
Council
of
Asia
(OCA)
Executive
Board
had
met
in
Tashkent
to
discuss
the
COVID-19
situation
in
China
and
felt
postponing
the
Games
was
the
best
decision
under
the
circumstances.

Following
detailed
discussions
with
the
Chinese
Olympic
Committee
(COC)
and
the
Hangzhou
Asian
Games
Organising
Committee
(HAGOC),
the
OCA
Executive
Board
(EB)
decided
to
postpone
the
19th
Asian
Games,”
the
OCA
had
said
in
a
statement
on
May
6.

The
OCA
said
the
HAGOC
was
well
prepared
to
deliver
the
Games
on
time
despite
global
challenges.
However,
after
carefully
considering
the
pandemic
situation
and
the
magnitude
of
the
Games,
the
decision
was
taken
by
all
the
stakeholders.


(With
PTI/AFC
Media
inputs)

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