In light of the AFC’s recent announcement to postpone the decision to award the hosting rights of the AFC Asian Cup 2027, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) have reasserted their commitment towards hosting the tournament.
The decision to postpone the awarding of the host country for the AFC Asian Cup 2027 was taken by the AFC given many current travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, making technical inspections visits to the Bidding Member Associations complex. It has therefore been agreed that the selection of the host for the AFC Asian Cup 2027 will now take place in 2022, rather than the upcoming 31st AFC Congress on November 27, 2021.
Saudi Arabia are bidding to host their first ever AFC Asian Cup, having won the tournament three times in 1984, 1988 and 1996. Their bid to host the AFC Asian Cup 2027 was formally launched in September last year, with their slogan ‘Forward for Asia’ indicating the Kingdom’s ambition to use the tournament to take the next step forward for Asian football, by providing opportunities for a ‘New Experience, a New Exchange and a New Expansion’.
In light of the decision to postpone the selection of the host for the AFC Asian Cup 2027, the leadership of the SAFF have confirmed their continued commitment to host the tournament.
Yasser Almisehal, President of SAFF, said: “We fully support the AFC’s decision to postpone the selection for the host of the AFC Asian Cup 2027. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in many countries across Asia remains very serious, and we continue to offer our support to all those AFC Member Associations facing challenges. It is with the same spirit of solidarity that we want to continue our efforts to bid to host the AFC Asian Cup 2027, and the response we have had from countries across Asia for our candidature leaves us in no doubt that our plans and efforts must be sustained.”
Ibrahim Alkassim, Secretary General of SAFF, added: “From a technical standpoint, the postponement changes relatively little for our candidature. We have many plans and initiatives related to the bid already underway. Moreover, the support for our bid from our government, private sector and general population has been tremendous, as has that from many of our colleagues across the AFC Member Associations. The AFC Asian Cup 2027 in Saudi Arabia would be a pivotal moment for the future of Saudi Arabia and Asian football, and we are more determined than ever to leave a lasting legacy for both.”
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