Saudi Arabia has been confirmed as the host of the 2027 AFC Asian Cup for the first time ©Getty Images

Saudi Arabia has been confirmed as the host of the 2027 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup for the first time.

The decision was taken at the AFC Congress, held today in Manama, Bahrain, with Saudi Arabia the only candidate to host the tournament.

India, Iran, Qatar and Uzbekistan had all previously bid to host the event before withdrawing, leading to the event being awarded to Saudi Arabia.

"It is an honour to have been chosen as hosts for the AFC Asian Cup 2027™ and this is a historic and exciting moment for football in Saudi Arabia," said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Minister of Sport and chairman of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

"We believe the best days of Asian football are yet to come and we see this tournament as an opportunity to showcase all that’s great about the game here.

"Our experience in hosting major sporting and entertainment events means that we are ready to deliver and ready to warmly welcome fans from across Asia and around the world.

"This will be an incredible AFC Asian Cup™, made even more special by the passion of the Saudi fans.

"I would like to thank the AFC and all the member associations that have been involved in this process.”

Saudi Arabia has won the tournament on three occasions - in 1984, 1988 and 1996 - and AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, who was today re-elected to the post unopposed added: “This will be the first time the tournament will be staged in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we look forward to working closely with the SAFF and the Saudi Arabian Government to deliver a memorable AFC Asian Cup™ for our fans and players in 2027.”

This year’s AFC Asian Cup is due to take place in Qatar, following on from the country’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Asian Cup holders Qatar stepped in to host the 2023 edition following the withdrawal of China due to the coronavirus pandemic.