Kuala Lumpur: The upcoming edition of Asia’s flagship national team competition — the AFC Asian Cup — will take place from June 16 to July 16, 2023, across 10 cities in China, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) confirmed the decision on Thursday.
The 18th edition of the tournament will be the longest in history, to be held across 31 days, three more than the 28-day showpiece in the United Arab Emirates in 2019, which was the first tournament to be expanded from 16 to 24 teams.
The principle of the extension was to ensure teams were given the optimum recovery time taking into consideration the travelling distance across the ten cities in China PR, AFC said in a statement.
“The AFC Asian Cup continues to grow in stature and in prestige, with each edition surpassing all expectations and we are confident that the upcoming tournament in China PR will be the biggest and greatest in Asian football history,” AFC general secretary Dato’ Windsor John said.
“We know that the Local Organising Committee and the Chinese Football Association will deliver a truly historic tournament in 2023. Already, we have seen the LOC make incredible progress in terms of infrastructure development despite the challenges we have seen across the world,” he added.
Meanwhile, Shi Qiang, the general secretary of the LOC said: “With the confirmation of the competition dates, the LOC will be able to organise the preparatory work precisely and systematically. Now the preparatory work, including professional football stadium construction, competition organisation, event support, volunteers’ program, is proceeding well as scheduled. We will work together with the AFC, to host a wonderful tournament.”