Saudi Arabia has been awarded the hosting rights for the 2027 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asia Cup after India backed out of the hosting rights race.
The competition for the hosting rights of the 2027 edition of the tournament was between only two bidders, Saudi Arabia and India. Previously, Qatar had also shown interest in hosting the tournament but it backed out after successfully receiving the hosting rights for the 2023 AFC Asia Cup due to China’s strict COVID-19 policies.
Saudi Arabia was announced as the de facto host of the 2027 Asia Cup after India backed out due to a lack of football structure in the country. India recently hosted the U-17 Women’s World Cup but hosting a major tournament is a bit too early for the nation that was recently banned by FIFA due to political interference.
All India Football Federation (AIFF) President, Kalyan Chaubey, revealed that the focus of the board is currently to improve the infrastructure in the country and strengthen football at every level before they are able to host a major football tournament.
This will be the first time in history that Asia’s premier football tournament will be held in the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia has won the prestigious tournament on three occasions and recently shocked the footballing world as they defeated Argentina in the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup. However, they failed to qualify for the next round after narrowly losing their next two matches.
The Kingdom is also in the running to host the 2026 Women’s Asia Cup.