Japan sounded out on hosting Asian Cup

TEHRAN, May 18 (MNA) – The Japan Football Association (JFA) has been informally approached about the possibility of replacing China as hosts of next year's Asian Cup, chairman Kozo Tashima says.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced last Saturday that China had pulled out of hosting the 24-team continental championship, citing the COVID-19 situation in the country.

"We were sounded out," Tashima told Nikkan Sports newspaper, without giving further details.

"If Japan were able to host, there's no question that it would be pretty exciting."

The JFA was not immediately available for comment.

Japan has the stadium infrastructure in place to stage the tournament in June and July next year, having co-hosted the World Cup in 2002, rugby's global showpiece in 2019 and the Olympic soccer tournament last year.

Other potential hosts such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Australia would need the tournament moved back to late 2023 or early 2024.

Qatar, which will host the World Cup later this year, and Saudi Arabia would be inhospitable in the middle of the year because of the summer heat, while Australia is co-hosting the women's World Cup in July and August 2023.

ZZ/PR

News Code 186925

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