S. Korea to enter bidding for 2023 Asian Cup football tournament

유지호 / 2022-06-20 16:59:53
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▲ This photo provided by the Korea Football Association on June 20, 2022, shows the trophy from the 2019 Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup, hosted by the United Arab Emirates. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

S Korea-football tournament

S. Korea to enter bidding for 2023 Asian Cup football tournament

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, June 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will enter the race to host Asia's top international football tournament next year, the sport's national governing body announced Monday.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said it will submit its bid for the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup before the June 30 deadline, and it started fielding applications Monday from cities interested in hosting matches.

China had been scheduled to host the quadrennial competition, but in May, the AFC announced China would not be able to stage the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The KFA said Japan, Qatar, Australia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are also reportedly interested.

The AFC Asian Cup was first held in 1956, and South Korea hosted the 1960 tournament. Despite their long-standing status as one of Asia's best teams, the Taeguk Warriors have only won two Asian Cups -- in 1956 and 1960.

In 2019 in the UAE, South Korea lost to the eventual champions Qatar in the quarterfinals.

The 2023 tournament will feature 24 countries. The KFA said should an East Asian country win the bid, the tournament will likely take place in June 2023. But a West Asian country will likely hold it in January next year, considering its climate.

The AFC has laid out stadium capacity requirements for the successful candidates. Matches through the quarterfinals must be played at stadiums with at least 20,000 seats. The semifinal matches must be hosted at venues with 40,000 or more seats. The opening match and the final match must be played at a stadium with at least 50,000 seats.

The KFA said hosting the Asian Cup should galvanize the football-crazed nation, while improving football infrastructure and revitalizing the national economy.

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