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Australia said on Friday that it will not push ahead with a formal bid to host the 2023 Asian Cup, but is “strongly” interested in holding the women’s tournament in 2026. China was supposed to host the 24-team men’s competition in June-July next year but pulled out as it pursues a zero-Covid policy, which makes staging sports events a major challenge.
Australia was among four new contenders unveiled by the Asian Football Confederation in July alongside South Korea, Qatar and Indonesia, with a decision due on October 17.
“Football Australia today confirmed that it will not proceed with submitting a formal bid to host the AFC Asian Cup 2023,” it said in a statement.
But it “maintains its strong interest in bidding for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026” and plans to submit a formal bid later this year.
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