DOHA: Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the Asian Football Confederation president, has expressed his confidence in Qatar’s hosting of the Asian Cup to leave a lasting impression on the Continent’s players, teams and passionate fans.

Chairing the first AFC executive committee for the term 2023-2027 in Doha, Shaikh Salman hailed the steadfast efforts of the local organising committee ahead of the draw at the Katara Opera House.

The exco was told of the tournament’s milestones, which include the eight confirmed world-class venues and competition dates as well as other operational aspects. The updates were also presented to the Organising Committee for AFC Asian Cup at its first meeting, which was chaired by acting chair Kohzo Tashima, earlier in the day.

The AFC president said: “As we all witnessed just less than six months ago at the FIFA World Cup, Qatar is amongst the best sporting destinations, not only in Asia, but across the globe, and we are confident that we will experience a memorable spectacle befitting the ever-growing stature of the AFC Asian Cup.

“For the first time in history, Asia’s crown jewel will be staged in FIFA World Cup stadiums, and we know that our teams and players are eager to showcase their talent in some of the world’s finest sporting arenas.

“The AFC has reiterated our ambitions to stage world-class competitions for our teams, players and match officials, and we must express our utmost gratitude to the LOC, the QFA and the Qatari Government for sharing our Vision and Mission for Asian football.

“Our 24 teams deserve our praise for reaching this stage of the tournament under exceptional circumstances and we wish them the very best of luck ahead of the Final Draw tomorrow. I know our players, teams and passionate fans are waiting eagerly for this milestone event, and the AFC and LOC are ready to host the best AFC Asian Cup™ in history.” 

The AFC Executive Committee also approved the proposal to hold the AFC Extraordinary Congress 2023, which will be held virtually, on October 18.

The AFC Executive Committee also agreed the list of persons to propose for election to the AFC’s Judicial Bodies for the term 2023 to 2027. The chairpersons, deputy chairpersons and members of the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee, the AFC Appeal Committee and the AFC Entry Control Body will be elected at the upcoming AFC Extraordinary Congress 2023.

At the same time, the AFC Annual Awards will make a return on 31 October in Doha, Qatar, later this year. The AFC Executive Committee agreed that the hosting rights would remain with the Qatar Football Association who were originally scheduled to stage the prestigious event in 2020 before it was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.