India is amongst the five countries to have submitted the bid for hosting the 2027 AFC Asian Cup, with the confederation set to pick the host for the event next year. Even though the Blue Tigers featured in four AFC Asian Cups, the last in 2019, they've never hosted the continental event.
India was the runners-up in the third edition of the AFC Asian Cup back in 1964, in their first appearance. The Blue Tigers have featured in the event three times following the historic feat in Israel but never managed to get past the group stages. While Sunil Chhetri and Co are well on course for qualifying for the 2023 edition, with them needing at least a win over Bangladesh and Pakistan to qualify for the main events. But, they could also end up qualifying for the 2027 AFC Asian Games too, with India along with four countries submitting bids to host the continental event.
"The All India Football Federation (AIFF), the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI), the Qatar Football Association (QFA), the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) and the Uzbekistan Football Association (UFA) have sent in their Form of Legal Opinion, Host Candidate Questionnaire and Sponsor Non-Infringement Undertakings to the AFC ahead of the stipulated deadline,” read a statement from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
India is already set to host the 2021 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, after successfully staging the men’s event back in 2017. But, the Asian Cup will be the biggest assignment is the All India Football Federation (AIFF) manages to pull it off, even though they have to beat heavyweights like Qatar and Saudi Arabia for the hosting rights.
“In this stage of bidding process, possible venues had to be identified. Nothing major has been asked so far. We have uploaded all the required documents. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are strong contenders, but we will do whatever is necessary (to win this bid),” said a senior AIFF official.