— Published 16 May 2022

China to drop Asian Cup 2023

The list is getting longer. But it now encroaches on the year 2023. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced in a statement that China has decided not to host the Asian Cup in 2023. The reason for this is the COVID-19 pandemic. The continental tournament was due to take place in ten Chinese cities between 16 June and 16 July 2023, with 24 teams. The AFC did not say whether another host country had already been named, a silence that suggests the Asian body has not yet found a plan B. With this announcement, the first for a major sporting event in 2023, it now seems certain that China will not open its borders for international sporting events until at least the end of the year. In recent weeks, China has cancelled or postponed the Asian Games, the World University Games, two stages of the World Athletics Diamond League, plus a handful of other international competitions in triathlon and skating.