Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia], May 14 (ANI): The Chinese Football Association (CFA) will not host the AFC Asian Cup 2023, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced on Saturday.

China were appointed as hosts of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 on June 5, 2019, at the AFC Extraordinary Congress in Paris. The 24-team competition was to be hosted across 10 Chinese cities from June 16 to July 16, 2023.

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"The AFC acknowledges the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the relinquishment by China of its hosting rights," AFC in a statement said.

The AFC had worked closely with the CFA and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Local Organising Committee (LOC) during the preparations for the event and several milestones were achieved, including the launch of the tournament logo and the unveiling of the newly completed Shanghai Pudong Football Stadium last year.

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"The AFC appreciates that China PR, the CFA and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 LOC have made this very difficult but necessary decision in the collective interests of the AFC Asian Cup 2023™[?], which has also provided the AFC the required time to assess the situation regarding the hosting of the AFC Asian Cup 2023," the statement added.

The details about the next steps related to the hosting of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 will be announced in due course by the chief Asian footballing body. (ANI)

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