Australia out of 2023 Asian Cup race, wants to host 2026 women’s tournament
- South Korea, Indonesia and Qatar left in running to host competition next summer
- Football bosses in Australia had said any bid would depend on event being moved to early 2024
Australia has decided not to bid for the 2023 Asian Cup but will submit one for the 2026 women’s tournament, the game’s governing body said on Friday.
Football Australia, along with their counterparts in South Korea, Indonesia and Qatar, had submitted an expression of interest to replace China as hosts of next year’s tournament.
“Football Australia has since determined that it will not proceed to submit a formal bid for the AFC Asian Cup 2023,” the governing body said in a statement.
“Football Australia maintains its strong interest in bidding for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026 and will submit a formal and comprehensive bid to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) within the required timeline later this year.”
The FA gave no reasons for pulling out, but chief executive James Johnson said in July a bid would be contingent on government support and the AFC being open to moving the tournament to January-February 2024.
China was to stage the 24-team event in June and July next year but relinquished its hosting rights in May as it pursued a zero-Covid policy.
Australia is expected to co-host the 2023 Women’s World Cup with New Zealand in July-August next year.
The deadline for bids for the men’s Asian Cup was August 31. South Korea confirmed this week it had submitted a bid.
When contacted by Reuters on Friday, the AFC declined to comment on whether Indonesia and Qatar had also bid.
Indonesia’s football association declined to comment on its interest in the tournament. The Qatari football association was unable to provide immediate comment.
Australia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Uzbekistan had submitted expressions of interest in hosting the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup, the AFC said last month.