ROK withdraws its bid to host the 2023 AFC Asian Cup
Updated 23:06, 15-May-2019
CGTN

The Republic of Korea (ROK) withdraws its bid to host the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, said a letter by the Korean Football Association (KFA) sent to AFC on Wednesday, leaving China the only bidder. 

"We need to make a choice between the 2023 AFC Asian Cup and the Women's World Cup," said KFA general-secretary. "We decided to focus on the Women's World Cup strategically." 

"In case of the Women's World Cup, FIFA and the government will actively support the joint hosting of the ROK and the DPRK," he added. 

According to KFA, the letter was also sent to all local municipalities related to the 2013 Asian Cup bidding to inform them of the withdrawal of the application. 

China, the host of 2004 Asian Cup, had officially proposed to bid for the 2023 Asian Cup after detailed preparations in March this year. 

Earlier in April, 2016, China, along with Indonesia, the ROK, and Thailand, has expressed interest in bidding for hosting the expanded 24-team championship. However, given withdrawals of Indonesia and Thailand in mid-2017, China and the ROK competed for the right to stage the next but one version of the quadrennial continental championship. 

The ROK advanced its bid plans for hosting the 2023 Asian Cup by announcing the eight cities that will host matches if it wins the bid. The move was up against China and potentially India in the race for the hosting rights, according to Yonhap.  

KFA said eight cities – Suwon, Goyang, Hwaseong, Cheonan, Jeonju, Gwangju, Busan and Jeju – would host matches in the Asian Football Confederation's most prestigious national team competition. 

The AFC Congress, initially, would decide in May 2018 on the host country following a vote by 46 members. 2023 AFC Asian Cup bid eventually will be decided at AFC Ad-hoc meeting on June 4th this year. 

(with input from agencies)