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China named 2023 AFC Asian Cup hosts
China has been awarded hosting rights to the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, with the national team football tournament to be staged in new stadia in the country.
China was the only remaining bidder for the tournament after the Korean Football Association withdrew its proposal last month. That came after Thailand and Indonesia had previously exited the race.
Its bid to host the quadrennial tournament included plans to build new stadia in seven of the 12 planned host cities while also including one back-up existing stadium in each host city. Each of the back-up options meet the latest international competition requirements set by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
China has proposed Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan and Xi’an as host cities and the country plans on delivering new stadia by the end of 2021.
Minor renovation work is planned for the National Stadium in Beijing, along with the Tianjin Olympic Centre Stadium, Hangzhou Olympic Sports Expo Centre Main Stadium, Changsha’s Helong Sports Centre Stadium and Guangzhou Tianhe Sports Centre Stadium.
The final of the tournament will be held at Shanghai Pudong Football Stadium, which is currently under construction. The stadium will also host a semi-final along with Beijing’s National Stadium.
Other stadia that are currently under construction include Chongqing Liangjiang Football Match Centre Stadium, Dalian Professional Football Stadium, Wuhan Tazi Lake Football Stadium, Chengdu Fenghuangshan Sports Centre Professional Football Stadium, Shaanxi Province Stadium and Kunshan Sports Centre.
Announcing China’s hosting, AFC President Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, stated “this is an important moment for football in Asia and beyond. Football now has a chance to unlock the potential that exists in the world’s most populous country.
“We have seen the rise of the game under the direction and investment of the Chinese government. Now we have the chance, with this Asian Cup, to develop a true legacy for the global game. Hosting the AFC Asian Cup will provide China PR with great facilities and infrastructure to stage football tournaments.”
China hosted the Asian Cup for the first and only time back in 2004, when the event was a 16-team tournament. The event is now contested by 24 teams and this year’s tournament in the United Arab Emirates was won by Qatar.
Image: AFC President Sheikh Salman with Chinese Football Association acting President Du Zhaocai.
27th March 2019 - White paper flags rise of Chinese Super League football
15th March 2019 - New Olympic Sports Centre opens in Shanghai satellite city
14th March 2019 - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics works move forward
15th February 2019 - News report suggests few Chinese sports venues are profitable
19th September 2018 - NHL looks to grow in China ahead of 2022 Winter Olympics
12th February 2018 - China invested nearly US$3 billion in school football facilities from 2015 to 2017
19th October 2017 - China’s Jiangsu Province plans for 3,000 football schools by 2025
30th September 2016 - China targets hosting of 2030 FIFA World Cup
25th July 2016 - China to build 60,000 football fields by 2020
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