World Cup Host Qatar Wins Rights for 2023 Asian Cup – NBC New York

With the World Cup in Qatar just weeks away, the country was selected by the Asian Football Confederation to host the 2023 Asian Cup on Monday.

Qatar beat out bids from South Korea and Indonesia in a short-term contest to replace China and host a tournament that could still be played in 2024.

The 2023 Asian Cup is scheduled to run from June 16 to July 16 in the FIFA-managed calendar of national team football matches – when the desert heat in Qatar is so extreme that the World Cup has had to be postponed to November and December.

Qatar hosted the 2011 Asian Cup in January this year and is now the first country to host the continental championship three times, having also hosted the event in 1988.

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The Qatari men’s team are looking to defend the title they won in the United Arab Emirates in 2019.

China was originally scheduled to hold the 24-team event in 2023, but gave up hosting rights in May due to the country’s “zero-COVID” policy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the AFC to look for a replacement.

“With such a short lead time, we know the hard work begins immediately, but with their existing world-class infrastructure and unrivaled hosting capabilities, we are confident Qatar will put on a spectacle worthy of the prestige and magnitude of Asia’s crown jewel becomes. ‘ AFC President Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said in a statement.

Qatar’s win on Monday offered good news for neighboring Saudi Arabia, who are bidding to host the 2027 Asian Cup in what is now a two-bid race against India.

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The 2027 competition originally featured Qatar and Iran, whose football association withdrew its candidacy last Thursday, the AFC said. No reason was given, although Iran has seen a month of street protests in support of women’s rights following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody.

“With the All India Football Federation and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation we have two exemplary applications,” said Sheikh Salman.

The AFC must seek an agreement with FIFA and likely a decision from the governing council of the sport’s world governing body to change the international match calendar and find new dates for the 2023 Asian Cup.

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That process could increase tensions with European clubs, who normally object to moving continental football championships from the June slots to their mid-season.

The FIFA calendar dictates the match dates and tournament periods when clubs must release their players nominated for national teams.

However, fewer European players are needed for the Asian Cup than for the Africa Cup of Nations, which was played in Cameroon in January. This tournament was also moved from a planned slot in June.

The influential European Club Association is led by a Qatari who is close friends with the country’s Emir. The Swiss-based club group is chaired by Nasser al-Khelaifi, the president of Paris Saint-Germain.

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