- Saudi Arabia to host the tournament for the first time
- Saudi Arabia are three-time winners of the tournament
- Decision taken during AFC Congress in Manama
WHAT HAPPENED? The 2027 Asian Cup will be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after the AFC confirmed the Middle-East nation as the hosts for the continental tournament. The decision was taken during the 33rd AFC Congress held at Manama in Bahrain.
WHAT DID THEY SAY? Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the AFC President, said: “Let me congratulate the Saudi Arabian Football Federation for being selected as the hosts for the AFC Asian Cup 2027."
HRH Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Minister of Sport and Chairman of the Saudi Olympic & Paralympic Committee, said, "It is an honour to have been chosen as hosts for the AFC Asian Cup 2027 and this is a historic and exciting moment for football in Saudi Arabia.
“We believe the best days of Asian football are yet to come and we see this tournament as an opportunity to showcase all that’s great about the game here. Our experience in hosting major sporting and entertainment events means that we are ready to deliver and ready to warmly welcome fans from across Asia and around the world.
“This will be an incredible AFC Asian Cup, made even more special by the passion of the Saudi fans. I would like to thank the AFC and all the Member Associations that have been involved in this process.”
Yasser Al Misehal, President of SAFF (Saudi Arabian Football Federation), added: “This is a hugely exciting time for Asian football, and we are delighted to be selected as hosts of the AFC Asian Cup 2027. It’s time to take Asian football to the next level and our efforts as hosts will prioritise that goal."
WHAT'S MORE? This will be the first time that the tournament is being hosted by Saudi Arabia. Uzkbekistan, Iran, India and Qatar had also been in the running to host the 2027 Asian Cup before dropping out.
STORY IN TWO PICS:GettyGetty Images
WHAT NEXT? Saudi Arabia, who had a memorable 2022 World Cup campaign where they famously defeated Argentina, will hope to organise a great AFC Asian Cup which will further boost the profile of Asian football. The country already has a well-established league system which has high-profile players like Cristiano Ronaldo.