The AFC Asian Cup, which is the flagship national team competition in Asia will begin from June 16, 2023 in 10 different cities in China. The announcement has been made by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) on Thursday.
It will be the 18th edition of the tournament and will be played for the longest period in history, which will be held across 31 days. It is three days more than the 28-day showpiece in the United Arab Emirates in 2019. It was for the first time a tournament was expanded from 16 to 24 teams in 2019.
The AFC in its statement said that the reason why the tournament has been stretched is to allow teams an optimum recovery time considering the extensive travelling distance across the 10 cities in China PR.
“The AFC Asian Cup continues to grow in stature and in prestige, with each edition surpassing all expectations and we are confident that the upcoming tournament in China PR will be the biggest and greatest in Asian football history,” AFC general secretary Dato’ Windsor John said.
“We know that the Local Organizing Committee and the Chinese Football Association will deliver a truly historic tournament in 2023. Already, we have seen the LOC make incredible progress in terms of infrastructure development despite the challenges we have seen across the world,” he added.
Since the dates have now been confirmed the LOC will have the wherewithal in terms of time and resources to begin and organize the preparatory work precisely and systematically, said Shi Qiang, the general secretary of the LOC.
“Now the preparatory work, including professional football stadium construction, competition organization, event support, volunteers’ program, is proceeding well as scheduled. We will work together with the AFC, to host a wonderful tournament,” he said.