The Member Associations of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Wednesday confirmed Saudi Arabia as the host for the AFC Asian Cup 2027 at the 33rd AFC Congress held here.
The landmark decision to give the hosting rights to Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) marks the first time Asia's crown jewel will be staged in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose national side ranks amongst the best performers in the tournament's history, having clinched the coveted Continental crown on three occasions -- in 1984, 1988 and 1996.
In his address to the 33rd AFC Congress, 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.
"This will be the first time the tournament will be staged in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we look forward to working closely with the SAFF and the Saudi Arabian Government to deliver a memorable AFC Asian Cup for our fans and players in 2027," he told the delegates on Wednesday.
HRH Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Minister of Sport and Chairman of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, who led the presentation to the AFC Congress, said: "It is an honor 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," he said.
India had bid to host the Asian Cup 2027 and was shortlisted along with Saudi Arabia but the newly-elected Executive Committee office-bearers of the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) led by president Kalyan Choubey withdrew the bid as it did meet its proposals for Vision 2047 document. (KB/IANS)