Qatar has been announced as host of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup ©AFC

Qatar has been announced as host of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup tournament, replacing China, which withdrew due to the coronavirus situation in the country.

South Korea and Indonesia were also bidding for the men's tournament.

The decision was announced by the AFC following an Executive Committee meeting today, with AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa praising the country's successful bid.

According to Reuters, the Qatar Football Association will propose to move the competition from June and July next year to January 2024 because of climate concerns.

"On behalf of the AFC and the Asian football family, I want to congratulate the Qatar Football Association on being awarded the hosting rights of the upcoming edition of the AFC Asian Cup," said Shaikh Salman.

"We must also thank the Football Association of Indonesia and the Korea Football Association for outlining their intentions to stage the tournament.

"Qatar’s capabilities and track record in hosting major international sporting events and their meticulous attention to detail are well admired throughout the globe.

"I must also commend the AFC for showcasing utmost professionalism in conducting a fair and transparent expedited bidding process and I thank all our commercial partners and sponsors for their patience during these unprecedented times.

"Given the short lead time in preparation, we know that the hard work begins immediately but with their existing world-class infrastructure and unrivalled hosting capabilities, we are confident that Qatar will stage a worthy spectacle befitting the prestige and stature of Asia’s crown jewel."

Qatar is due to stage the FIFA World Cup for the first time later this year ©Getty Images
Qatar is due to stage the FIFA World Cup for the first time later this year ©Getty Images

Qatar are the reigning Asian Cup champions, and the nation is set to stage the tournament for a third time next year, after previously hosting in 1988 and 2011.

The nation is due to host the FIFA World Cup for the first time later this year, with the tournament set to open on November 20 with the hosts taking on Ecuador.

The build-up has been dominated by debate over Qatar's record on human rights - particularly those of migrant workers.

Meanwhile, India and Saudi Arabia were shortlisted as the final two bidders for the 2027 Asian Cup, with a final decision due to be taken at the AFC Congress, set to be held in February 2023.

Uzbekistan and Iran initially submitted bids to host the 2027 edition before withdrawing, while Qatar is no longer taking part in the 2027 bid race after being awarded the 2023 edition, in accordance with the AFC's bidding regulations.

"We thank our three member associations - the All India Football Federation, the Qatar Football Association and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation - for submitting strong bids to host the AFC Asian Cup 2027," the AFC President added.

"We must also acknowledge the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran and the Uzbekistan Football Association for signalling their intent to host the 2027 edition and Football Australia for indicating their interest for the 2023 tournament.

"Across our competitions, we are seeing our digital engagement and TV viewership grow in record numbers and it is our responsibility to ensure that each tournament surpasses the achievements of the previous edition.

"In the All India Football Federation and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, we have two exemplary bids, and I am confident that the Qatar Football Association will strengthen the foundations for the eventual 2027 hosts to build upon."

Other business during the meeting included the AFC paying tribute to the victims of a stampede during an Indonesian Premier League football match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya.

The stampede led to the deaths of 131 people, with criminal charges issued against officers and civilians in the aftermath.

Meanwhile, Shaikh Salman also reiterated the AFC's support for FIFA President Gianni Infantino, as he seeks re-election to the post at next year's FIFA Congress, due to be held in Rwanda.

Shaikh Salman himself is set to be re-elected unopposed as President of the AFC, at the organisation's Congress due to be held in Manama in Bahrain in February 2023, as he is the only candidate.