The AFC Asian Cup is one of world football's most prestigious continental football championships. The next edition of the tournament takes place in 2023 and there are four countries bidding for the chance to host the competition.
Australia, Indonesia, Qatar and South Korea have expressed their interest. The deadline for official bids ends on August 31. Each bid will then be looked at by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), with a decision on the winner being announced on October 17.
Next year’s tournament will feature 24 teams once again. The organisers expanded the number from 16 to 24 in 2019. If Australia wins the bidding process, it will be the second time they have hosted the AFC Cup since they joined the confederation in 2005.
The 2019 AFC Cup winners, Qatar, hosted the competition in 1988 and 2011. South Korea played host for the second ever AFC Cup in 1960, while Indonesia have yet to receive the honour of holding the tournament in their country.
AFC Teams Set to Feature at World Cup This Year
This year’s World Cup in Qatar is the chance for some of the leading teams in the AFC to test themselves against countries from other confederations. Australia, Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea have all qualified for the tournament, while Qatar have been handed a place as the hosts.
Japan and South Korea have the best chance of the AFC teams of lifting the trophy in Qatar according to the odds, as they are both 251.00 in the FIFA World Cup betting with bet365, one of the leading betting sites for the competition.
Iran are the highest ranked team in the world rankings, as they are 23rd on the list, just ahead of Japan (24th) and South Korea (28th). The latter have gone the furthest at a World Cup, as they finished fourth in 2002 in the joint-hosted tournament with Japan.
This year’s competition is the chance for Qatar to show they have the world-class facilities required to host the event. History will also be made as it will be the first time the World Cup has been held during the winter months in the selected country.
India Looking to Host 2027 AFC Cup
India have yet to host the AFC Cup, but the India Football Federation (IFF) have formally submitted a bid for the 2027 tournament. The Asian Football Confederation are set to announce who will win that process later this year. They have already revealed the qualification format for the event.
The India Football Federation face competition from Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Iraq, Jordan and Uzbekistan all expressed interest in the past but chose not to bid.
IFF president Praful Patel has revealed what cities would act as hosts should India win the bidding process. It includes Kolkata, which has the Salt Lake Stadium (capacity 85,000), and Kochi, where the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (capacity 70,500) features.
Those countries who have submitted bids for the 2023 and 2027 AFC Cups face a nervous wait for the AFC’s decision over the upcoming weeks and months.