The tournament, which takes place every four years and in which 24 countries participate, is expected to be played in ten Chinese cities between June 16 and July 16, 2023. The AFC says in a statement it recognizes the “exceptional circumstances caused by Covid-19” and shows understanding for the decision of the Chinese. Who will take over the organization remains to be seen.
In China, the government has long had a strict zero-tolerance policy to contain the corona crisis. However, the infection rates have recently risen again. The residents of Shanghai have been in lockdown for more than a month and in other cities, such as the capital Beijing, the population is being tested frequently and lockdowns are threatening due to rising corona figures. Several sporting events have been canceled in the meantime, such as the Asian Games, scheduled for September in Hangzhou, and the Diamond League meetings in Shanghai (July 30) and Shenzhen (August 6).
China would host the Asian Cup next year for the first time since 2004. It then lost the final to Japan. Qatar won the last edition in the United Arab Emirates in 2019.