190106 uae football fans
The Asia Cup 2019 in the UAE was a success and another feature in the country's cap as a major sporting destination. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Dubai: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced the five candidates for its 2027 Asian Cup, with Saudi Arabia and Qatar set to face each other in another bidding race.

India, Iran and Uzbekistan are the three other nations joining the Middle Eastern neighbours in submitting their formal candidacy to host the 19th edition of the biggest football event of the continent.

The AFC will announce its final decision next year after carrying out an assessment of the bids over the coming months. Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, AFC President, said: “On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to thank all our member associations for stepping forward to express their desire and for sharing our ambitions to host a world-class stage for our players, teams, officials and fans and I wish all of them the very best in the bidding process.”

He added: “The record set in the 2019 edition in the UAE helps enhance the value and prestige of this tournament and we have no doubt that China will exceed all our expectations in the 2023 edition.”