The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Wednesday confirmed that it has received expressions of interest from five Member Associations including India to host the AFC Asian Cup 2027.
According to the AFC, June 30 was the last date for the countries to express their interest in hosting the AFC Asian Cup 2027.
Apart from India, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan have sent their proposal for hosting the pinnacle of Asian football in 2027.
"The five Member Associations who have signalled their intentions to stage Asia's premier football tournament are (in alphabetical order by country): All India Football Federation, Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran, Qatar Football Association, Saudi Arabian Football Federation and Uzbekistan Football Association," read a statement from AFC.
Of the five Member Associations expressing an interest, two nations have already hosted the tournament twice since its inception in 1956. Reigning champions Qatar staged the competition in 1988 and 2011, as well as Iran, who are the only nation in Asian football history to have won the coveted crown twice on home soil in 1968 and 1976.
Three-time champions Saudi Arabia and India, who were recently awarded the hosting rights for the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup, as well as Uzbekistan, this year's host for the AFC U-19 Championship, are all vying to stage Asia's football crown jewel for the first time.
"The AFC will now work with each Bidding Member Association on the delivery of the necessary bidding documentation in accordance with the bidding process and will announce the host for the 19th edition of the AFC Asian Cup in 2021," it added.
AFC president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa thanked the five Member Associations for showcasing their support and hailed their ambitions as a great testament to the ever-growing stature of the AFC Asian Cup.
"The AFC Asian Cup is the pinnacle stage for Asia's finest and the record-breaking and biggest-ever edition in the United Arab Emirates in 2019 laid the foundations for Asian football to strengthen this legacy and we have no doubts that China PR will not only match but also surpass all our expectations in 2023," Shaikh Salman said.
"On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to thank all our Member Associations for stepping forward to express their desire and for sharing our ambitions to host a world-class stage for our players, teams, officials and fans and I wish all of them the very best in the bidding process," he added.
( With inputs from ANI )