The runners and riders in the race to host the 2019 Asian Cup has been reduced in number after the Chinese Football Association (CFA) elected not to pursue a bid.
China was one of a host of nations to notify the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) of its intention to bid for the governing body’s leading national team tournament earlier this year. China last staged the Asian Cup in 2004, but has now exited the race for 2019 leaving Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Iran and Thailand as the remaining nations in contention. Eleven countries had expressed their interest to host the competition when the bidding started but Lebanon, Malaysia and Myanmar also withdrew their candidacies.
The CFA said in a statement: “Having now undertaken integrated consideration of various factors and the overall arrangements for future work and coordination with the relevant parties, the Chinese Football Association decided not to bid for the Asian Cup tournament.”
The AFC is scheduled to decide the host of the 2019 tournament at its general assembly in July 2014. Japan won the previous edition of the Asian Cup, which was staged by Qatar in 2011, with Australia due to host the 2015 event.