As Reuters reported, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced China’s withdrawal from its hosting rights for the 2023 Asian Cup. The rationale behind this decision is the exceptional conditions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
After discussing it extensively, China and AFC reached that decision. AFC praises Chinese authorities for making a tough but necessary decision. Affected by the epidemic, China faces many challenges in commitments and arrangements to hold next year’s soccer tournament in a fully open mode.
However, Chinese people are afraid this decision seemingly implies that they cannot fully return to everyday life next year.
AFC also announced the decision through Weibo, making the news one of the top trending topics on the most popular social media site. It attracted nearly 60 million reads within a few hours.
Some netizens commented on whether Zero-covid draconian measures might continue next summer.
Next year’s Asian Cup was initially scheduled to be held from June 16 to July 16, 2023, in 10 mainland cities like Beijing and Shanghai.
Since winning the hosting rights of the event in 2019, China has completed the logo and built or renovated many stadiums in preparation for the event. Among them, Shanghai Pudong Football Stadium and Chengdu Phoenix Mountain Stadium have been completed.
Some netizens wondered what would happen to those stadiums already prepared for the competition.
The AFC did not name a new host for this 4-yearly tournament, saying only further steps would be announced in due course.