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China gives up 2023 Asian Cup hosting rights
Published on: 2022-05-17
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China has pulled out of hosting the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asia Cup, a possible sign the country's strict zero-Covid policy could remain in place for some time to come.

The quadrennial tournament, which features 24 teams from the continent, was scheduled to take place across 10 Chinese cities in June and July next year.

"The AFC acknowledges the exceptional circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to the relinquishment by China of its hosting rights," the confederation said in a statement Saturday, adding the decision was "difficult but necessary."

Confirming its decision to withdraw on Saturday, China's Asia Cup organizing committee said Covid difficulties meant it "cannot pledge at this moment to hold next year's Asian Cup competition under a fully open model."

The tournament was supposed to showcase a new soccer stadium in Shanghai -- the city at the epicenter of the country's current outbreak that has been under lockdown for seven weeks.





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