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‘Little chance’ of Japan hosting 2023 Asian Cup: JFA

Japanese football chiefs said Wednesday there is “little chance” they will bid to replace China as hosts of next year’s Asian Cup, two days before the deadline to declare interest.

South Korea has already submitted an official bid to the Asian Football Confederation to host the 24-team competition, scheduled for June and July 2023.

When asked if the Japan Football Association planned to bid, JFA technical director Yasuharu Sorimachi told reporters “we are considering it but there is little chance”.

China was due to host the tournament but pulled out in May due to challenges related to its strict zero-Covid strategy.

The AFC invited new bids to host the quadrennial competition and set a deadline of June 30, which was then extended until July 15.

Japan, who have won the Asian Cup four times, last hosted the tournament in 1992.

South Korea has not hosted the Asian Cup since 1960, the only time it has staged the event.

Covid restrictions have pushed China off the global sporting map.

In May, organisers of the Olympic-sized Asian Games, due to be held in September in Hangzhou, postponed the event over logistical problems caused by Covid.

The World University Games, originally set to be held in Chengdu in June, were also postponed for a second time due to “continued uncertainty over conditions”.

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