Saudis in off-field victory before Japan, Koreans out of World Cup

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) Hours earlier than Japan and South Korea suffered painful World Cup second-round eliminations in Qatar, soccer’s continental rival Saudi Arabia had a lot to have a good time.

The Indian Soccer Federation’s choice to withdraw from the race to host the 2027 Asian Cup, introduced as your complete focus of soccer in East Asia was centered on Japan and South Korea’s knockout matches on Monday, left Saudi Saudi Arabia as the one candidate to host the Asian Cup. continental championship.

South Korea, which misplaced 4-1 to Brazil, and Japan, overwhelmed by Croatia in a penalty shootout, superior additional within the World Cup than both Qatar or Saudi Arabia. Off the pitch, nevertheless, the facility of Asian soccer shifted to the west aspect of the continent.

Saudi Arabia shall be formally confirmed because the 2027 host in February, when the Asian Soccer Confederation meets in Bahrain. It will likely be the primary time the nation has hosted the continental competitors and will additionally result in a future World Cup bid.

“Individuals neglect that Saudi Arabia has hosted many worldwide occasions, together with the 1989 Youth World Cup and three editions of the Confederations Cup,” mentioned Hafez Al-Medlej, a former member of the Saudi Arabian Soccer Federation and the AFC. to the nationwide media. “Asian Cup 2027 shall be one of the vital profitable Asian competitions given Saudi Arabia’s capacity to host sporting occasions and it will present that the nation will have the ability to host the World Cup for years to return.”

Whereas groups from East Asia have historically carried out higher in soccer’s premier event – South Korea’s run to the World Cup semifinals when it co-hosted the 2002 event with Japan stays the very best efficiency by a Asian team- West Asia has continued to make leaps and bounds within the operating of the game.

The United Arab Emirates hosted the 2019 Asian Cup and Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa shall be named AFC president for a 3rd time period in February. Qatar overcame a problem from South Korea in October to host the 2023 Asian Cup, utilizing services arrange for the World Cup.

The Korea Soccer Affiliation responded to that call in October with an announcement highlighting among the Qatari lobbying.

β€œQatar has promised monumental monetary assist, such because the involvement of extra sponsors from its personal corporations within the AFC, which is presently struggling losses as a consequence of COVID-19, a large-scale broadcast rights contract with its personal broadcasting firm, and assist for the working bills of the Asian Cup,” the KFA mentioned within the assertion.

Saudi Arabia has by no means hosted the Asian Cup, which it has gained 3 times because the inaugural occasion in 1956. The latest title was in 1996.

Internet hosting the 2027 version grew to become a extremely profitable contest when the Saudis, Qatar, Iran, India and Uzbekistan initially submitted bids greater than two years in the past.

India’s soccer federation mentioned the Asian Cup in 2027 was not according to its strategic priorities.

“India has at all times been an exquisite and environment friendly host of main tournaments, which was amply demonstrated by the not too long ago concluded FIFA U-17 Girls’s World Cup,” AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey mentioned in an announcement. “Nonetheless, the Govt Committee has determined that the federation’s general technique presently continues to concentrate on elementary objectives to strengthen our soccer in any respect ranges, from grassroots to youth growth.”

World Cup host Qatar has been handed the 2023 version of the Asian Cup after China returned its internet hosting rights, citing the COVID-19 pandemic. That event is anticipated to be pushed again to January 2024.

The Korean Soccer Affiliation mentioned in October that it could take time to mirror on its failure to win the Asian Cup bid, saying it “will examine and follow additional measures to strengthen worldwide competitiveness and soccer diplomacy sooner or later.”

Within the quick time period, nevertheless, as Japan and South Korea go away Doha, they know they are going to be again quickly.

AP World Cup protection: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports activities

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