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China withdraw from hosting the 2023 AFC Asian Cup due to COVID-19 pandemic-Sports News , Firstpost

China have relinquished the right to host the AFC Asian Cup 2023 finals due to the COVID-19 situation in the country.

AFC Asian Cup trophy. AFP

China has decided against hosting the AFC Asian Cup 2023 which was to be played across 10 Chinese cities from 16 June to 16 July, 2023.

In a statement, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) confirmed the Chinese Football Association (CFA) have relinquished the right to host the Asian Cup finals due to the COVID-19 situation.

“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 of the AFC Asian Cup 2023, which has also provided the AFC the required time to assess the situation regarding the hosting of the AFC Asian Cup 2023,” the AFC statement read.

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“The AFC will continue to work closely with its commercial partners and stakeholders to chart the course forward and remains grateful to them for their understanding and support during this period.”

AFC also said: “Further details about the next steps related to the hosting of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 will be announced in due course.”

The top national football competition in Asia, the Asian Cup is hosted every four years with 24 teams taking part in it.

India are set to play the final round of qualifiers in June. They face Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Cambodia in the group stage.

The decision comes hot on the heels of 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou being postponed. The continental event has been postponed indefinitely from its original dates of 10 to 25 September.

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