[Writer's Choice] South Korea Withdraws from 2023 Asian Cup Bid; China to Host
Jay Yim, May 17, 2019, 2:49 p.m.
South Korea withdrew from the recent bid to host football's 2023 Asian Cup, leaving China as sole bidders to have a chance to become hosts.
The Korea Football Association (KFA) said in a statement that they withdrew from the bid to "strategically focus" on a joint bid with North Korea to host the Women's World Cup in the same year.
The KFA announced the joint bid in March, however, diplomatics contacts between Pyongyang and Seoul have since been diminished significantly with North Korea and the US had failed nuclear talks.
The KFA's head Chun Han Jin said in a statement, “For the Women’s World Cup, FIFA and the South Korean government will provide active support so that the joint hosting by South and North Koreas can be materialized
South Korea dropping out of the bid means that China should be confirmed by the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) on June 4 as hosts of the cup for the second time.
In 2004, China hosted the tournament where they lost 3-1 to Japan in the Beijing final.
The KFA announced South Korea's bid to host the 2023 tournament two years ago, saying that it had hoped to "host the most prestigious football tournament in Asia" 63 years after their first time hosting in 1960.
Thailand and Indonesia previously expressed their interest in hosting the 2023 tournament, but withdrew their bids earlier.
This year's tournament in the UAE was expanded to 24 nations for the first time with Qatar coming out champions in the final against Japan 3-1.