JAKARTA, April 12 ― Indonesia, currently serving a Fifa ban, are one of the four countries vying to host the 2023 Asian Cup, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said today.
The AFC Competitions Committee said they had received expression of interests from China, Thailand, South Korea as well as Indonesia, banned almost a year ago for political interference in the local football association.
The quartet who met the March 31 deadline will now have to provide government guarantees, legal opinion on their bids and enter into a bidding agreement, the AFC said after a meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
Thailand and Indonesia jointly staged the 2007 edition with Malaysia and Vietnam, while China last hosted it in 2004 and South Korea in 1960.
United Arab Emirates will stage the 2019 Asian Cup after they edged out a bid from Iran to host the tournament, which will feature 24 teams for the first time after expanding from 16 in Australia last year.
The Competitions Committee, chaired by Qatar's Saoud Al Mohannadi, also voted in favour of moving West Asian matches in the AFC Champions League and second tier AFC Cup to Monday and Tuesday in a bid to boost attendances and television interest.
The proposal had come from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who also argued that playing Champions League matches on Tuesday and Wednesday was hindering their domestic league ambitions.
The change will come into affect next year but the East Asian clubs will continue to play on Wednesday and Thursday.
The AFC also agreed to bring back a tournament for their worst ranked sides this year after they scrapped the Challenge Cup in 2014.
Nepal, Brunei, Macau, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and two other sides to be determined, will take part in the 14-day tournament at a neutral venues which will provide at least three matches each and also coaching, refereeing and technical courses. ― Reuters