India and Saudi Arabia to compete for 2027 AFC Asian Cup hosting rights

Image credit: The Economic Times

On Monday, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced that Saudi Arabia and India would compete to host the 2027 Asian Cup after three other interested nations withdrew their bids.

If it were selected, India would be the first country to host the competition. Despite having won three continental championships, Saudi Arabia has never hosted the competition.

Iran abandoned their request a few days ago, and Uzbekistan withdrew in December 2020.

After realising that they would be hosting the AFC Asian Cup in 2019, the third interested nation, Qatar, withdrew its bid for the 2027 competition.

The AFC Executive Committee considered the bid ideas for the AFC Asian Cup 2027 before selecting the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) as the final two contenders.

At its meeting in February, the AFC Congress will pick who will serve as the following host.

India initially competed in the AFC Asian Cup competition in 2023 but withdrew early in October 2018. After successfully hosting the U-17 men’s World Cup in 2017, India is now hosting the U-17 women’s World Cup.

According to the relevant bidding statutes, the decision “brings to an end the bid proposal of the QFA, who were considered to have withdrawn from the 2027 contest following their successful 2023 offer,” the statement said.

The All India Football Federation, the Qatar Football Association, and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation are three of our member associations, and we would like to thank them once more for their competitive efforts to host the 2027 AFC Asian Cup.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said, “We have two fantastic bids in the All India Football Federation and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, and I am convinced that the Qatar Football Association will improve the foundations for the ultimate hosts to develop upon. 

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