South Korea in race to host Asian Cup

South Korean soldiers salute in front of a huge national flag in Pohang on September 30, 2021. File photo: Reuters/Lee Jin-Man

South Korea will launch a bid to host the 2023 Asian Cup following China's decision to relinquish its rights to the tournament, the Korean Football Association (KFA) said on Monday.

China was due to host the tournament in June and July next year but the country's efforts to follow a zero-COVID policy have resulted in the 24-team event being moved.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) invited bids to stage the 2023 Asian Cup last month, saying interested parties must confirm their bid by June 30.

"The Korea Football Association is promoting the bid for the '2023 AFC Asian Cup' hosted by the AFC in Korea," KFA said in a notice on their website.

"Therefore, we would like to proceed with the application for bid from local governments that have stadiums that can host international games, such as domestic soccer-only stadiums and general sports grounds."

South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol gave the go-ahead for a push to host the finals earlier this month, ordering his sports minister to try to secure the event.

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