Team China line up before the AFC Asian Cup quarter-final match against Iran at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates on January 24, 2019. (Photo: VCG)
China is preparing to bid for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, the continent's biggest football tournament, confirmed the Chinese Football Association (CFA) on Friday.
Noting that hosting the event sees a boosting development of soccer in China, CFA, the country's top football authority, is soliciting input for a possible application to host the tournament.
AFC Asian Cup is held every four years. China, together with Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand in 2016 showed interest in bidding for the right to host the tournament.
The bid will require at least six cities and eight stadiums to host a total of 51 matches in the month-long contest.
China hosted the Asian Cup in 2004 and reached the final, but lost to powerful rival Japan 1-3.
In January 2015, China reached the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup in Australia after winning all three of their group matches. In a much-anticipated match against Iran at 2019 Asian Cup, Marcelo Lippi's side failed to trouble Iran in quarters as to end in last eight.
China is making steady progress in its football reform and development plan which was introduced in February 2015 in an effort to transform the country into a football powerhouse by 2050. Bidding for 2023 AFC Asian Cup shows China's big plan for football development, which may also include hosting the FIFA World Cup in the future.