Australia has decided to pull out of the bid for the 2023 Asian Cup and will instead bid for the 2026 women’s tournament, leaving Qatar, South Korea, and Indonesia as potential hosts.
The four countries submitted their proposals earlier this year as announcements were made that China would no longer host the tournament.
China’s zero-Covid-19 policy drove the country to give up its hosting rights despite constructing and renovating 10 stadiums for the 24-team event.
The Asian Cup is scheduled for June next year, and the AFC’s executive committee will announce the new host on October 17.
Australia, the Asian Cup winner of 2015, said a decision to bid would depend on scheduling and government funding.
The Aussies will have a busy 2023 as they co-host next year’s Women’s World Cup with New Zealand in July.
The country also expressed interest in hosting the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup.
Indonesia has a history of hosting Asian tournaments as it previously held the 2018 Asian Games and was one of four co-hosts of the 2007 Asian Cup.
South Korea won the inaugural Asian Cup in 1956, yet the country has not recently hosted any significant football tournaments. South Korea co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with Japan.
Qatar, the champions of the 2018 Asian Cup, hosted the event twice in 1988 and 2011.
The gulf country is preparing for the FIFA World Cup, the first World Cup in the Arab region. The tournament will kick off on November 20 and come to an end on Qatar’s National Day, which falls on December 18.
Qatar had also won the bid to host the 2030 Asian Games besting Saudi Arabia, who came second in the vote and will instead host the 2034 edition of the tournament.