Doha, Qatar: A year after hosting the historic FIFA World Cup dubbed the best-ever in tournament’s history, Qatar is on track to deliver the greatest edition of the Asian Cup early next year, an official of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) said yesterday.
Top 24 teams of the continent will vie for glory in the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) flagship international tournament set to take place from January 12 to February 10 across nine stadiums including seven venues which hosted the World Cup matches last year.
It will be the third time that Qatar will host the continent’s premier competition after staging it in 1988 and 2011. But the forthcoming Asian Cup is expected to set new benchmarks in hosting of the continental showpiece after Qatar delivered a successful World Cup.
Senior Manager of Local and Regional Media 2023, AFC Asian Cup Qatar LOC Hamad Al Thani
Senior Manager of Local and Regional Media 2023, AFC Asian Cup Qatar LOC Hamad Al Thani said it would be a huge challenge to maintain the top standards but he was confident the Qatar organisers would deliver a blockbuster event again.
“We’re now approaching the final countdown, the 30-day countdown of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023. It’s taking place one year after Qatar hosted the FIFA World Cup which was a resounding success. So it’s going to be huge responsibility on us as LOC to keep the same momentum of the World Cup,” Al Thani told reporters at a media briefing at Al Bidda Tower yesterday.
“The preparations are going really well. Hopefully, Qatar will once again show that it never fails to surprise everyone with its operations,” he added.
More than 1.4 million fans from across the globe visited Qatar for the FIFA World Cup 2022, and the organisers are expecting a huge number of Asian fans to travel for the tournament after receiving overwhelming response to ticket sales which is in its second phase.
“The fans were the true gems of the World Cup. We feel for this competition also the fans will play an important part and will add the value in the Asian Cup. We are expecting a lot of fans to visit Qatar from across the continent. The tickets sale for the tournament is receiving overwhelming response from many countries and based on that we are looking forward to hosting a huge number of fans,” said Al Thani.
The tournament will get underway with defending champions and hosts Qatar taking on Lebanon in the opening match on January 12 at the iconic Lusail Stadium, which will also host the final on February 10.
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