The Asian Football Confederation has extended the last date to submit preliminary bids for the 2027 Asian Cup. The decision was made on Thursday after the Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted all sports and business activities worldwide
Expressions of interest will now be accepted until 30 June, three months after the original deadline of 31 March, the AFC said in a statement.
“The decision was taken in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic to allow member associations, many of whom have been affected by the global outbreak, sufficient time to meet their internal processes and timelines,” it said.
China will host the next Asian Cup in 2023.
Saudi Arabia was the only country so far to throw its hat in the ring for 2027.
Qualifying for the 2023 Asian Cup, like most other football worldwide, has been put on hold as countries batten down to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The AFC’s national team showpiece takes place every four years and the governing body in December said it would look to appoint hosts for the 2027 tournament “as soon as possible” to allow for more preparation time.
The most recent edition of the Asian Cup was held last year in the United Arab Emirates, with Qatar defeating Japan in the final to win the tournament for the first time. Last year’s tournament featured 24 teams for the first time instead of 16.