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Qatar to host Asian Cup 2023

22 October 2022 [13:14] - TODAY.AZ

By Laman Ismayilova

Qatar will stage next year's Asian Cup in place of original host China after seeing off rival bids from South Korea and Indonesia, Azernews reports, citing Reuters.

The tournament is likely to be moved from mid-2023 to early 2024 to avoid the heat of the Gulf summer.

The continental championships were awarded to China in 2019. However, China relinquished its rights earlier this year as it pursued a zero-COVID policy.

The Asian Confederation (AFC) reopened the bidding process. Three candidates were considered by the executive committee on Monday.

Qatar staged the Asian Cup - in 1988 and 2011 and won the Asian Cup in 2019.

The AFC Asian Cup is the primary association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), determining the continental champion of Asia. It is the second oldest continental football championship in the world after Copa América. The winning team becomes the champion of Asia, and until 2015 qualified for the FIFA Confederations Cup.

The Asian Cup was held once every four years from the 1956 edition in Hong Kong until the 2004 tournament in China. However, since the Summer Olympic Games and the European Football Championship were also scheduled in the same year as the Asian Cup, the AFC decided to move their championship to a less crowded cycle. After 2004, the tournament was next held in 2007, when it was co-hosted by four countries in Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Thereafter, it has been held every four years.

The Asian Cup has generally been dominated by a small number of top teams. Initially, successful teams included South Korea (twice) and Iran (three times).

Since 1984, Japan (four times) and Saudi Arabia (three times) have been the most successful teams, together winning seven of the last ten finals. The other teams, which have achieved success are Qatar (2019 current champions), Australia (2015), Iraq (2007), and Kuwait (1980).

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