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China has pulled out of hosting football’s 2023 Asian Cup due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers said on Saturday.
The 24-team competition was to be held in 10 Chinese cities from June 16 to July 16, 2023.
The Asian Football Confederation said that “exceptional circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic” has led to China relinquishing its hosting rights and that the next steps would be announced in “due course.”
China PR were appointed as hosts of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 on June 5, 2019, at the AFC Extraordinary Congress in Paris.
The AFC said it acknowledged the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the relinquishment by China PR of its hosting rights.
“The AFC worked closely with the CFA and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ Local Organising Committee (LOC) during the preparations and several milestones were achieved, including the launch of the tournament logo and the unveiling of the newly completed Shanghai Pudong Football Stadium last year,” the Asian body stated. adding, “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 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.”
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