Asian Football Confederation (AFC)
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
The Asian Cup logo on display outside the Worker’s Stadium in Beijing. Photo: EPA-EFE

AFC Asian Cup: Japan football chief says country approached about hosting 2023 tournament, South Korea given ‘briefing’

  • China pulled out of hosting the tournament next year over coronavirus fears
  • Officials from Japan and South Korea said they had been approached about hosting the 24-team competition, originally set to take place between June and July

Japan has been “sounded out” about hosting next year’s Asian Cup, the country’s football chief said, after China withdrew from staging the tournament over coronavirus concerns.

Kozo Tashima, chairman of the Japan Football Association, told the Nikkan Sports daily that Asian Football Confederation officials had been in touch regarding hosting the 24-team tournament, but gave no further details.

“We’ve just been sounded out,” Tashima was quoted as saying. “If Japan were to host it, it would be exciting, no doubt about it.”

Hong Kong to face Japan at East Asian Football Federation tournament opener

China last week pulled out of hosting the tournament, which had been expected to be staged in 10 cities in June and July next year, as the country pursues a strict zero-Covid strategy.

The move came one week after organisers of the Asian Games, scheduled to take place in the Chinese city of Hangzhou this September, announced that the event would be postponed.

Japan, which co-hosted Asia’s first World Cup with South Korea 20 years ago, has not staged the Asian Cup since 1992.


On Tuesday, Japan announced the venues and schedule for the East Asian Football Federation championship, which it will host in July.

Hong Kong will take on the hosts in the opening game of the men’s tournament at Kashima Soccer Stadium, and will also play South Korea and China, with games also being played in Tokyo.

A women’s tournament, involving Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan will take place at the same time.

Along with Japan, a South Korea FA official said they had a “briefing” after China relinquished the hosting rights but there was not enough time to deliver a world-class tournament in the country.


“When we applied for the 2023 Asian Cup years back, we had quite some time but this Asian Cup is happening just next year and this can’t be just happening in a top-down way,” the official said, declining to be named.

“It’s just the schedule is so tight now. I mean if the AFC just lets us host it without any conditions, we’ll do it, but we don’t know what conditions there are to host the Asian Cup and whether we can meet the standard.”


The AFC will meet for its 32nd Congress in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.