Regional ‘sports hub’ Qatar is confident to host Asian Cup for third time

Qatar will host the AFC Asian Cup 2023 next year, just months after hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Qatar’s bid to win the hosting rights for the 2023 Asian Cup has been welcomed by officials in the Gulf state who say they are confident to stage the regional tournament.

Marking the first nation to host the AFC Asian Cup three times, Qatar’s Olympic Committee President Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani has voiced his appreciation to all those involved that brought the tournament back.

“Congratulations to everyone involved in Qatar’s winning bid to host the AFC Asian Cup 2023,” Sheikh Joaan said.

“We would like to thank the Qatari youth who worked hard to ensure this hosting bid is of the highest professional standard.”

Qatar Football Association (QFA) President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani dubbed the upcoming Asian Cup as a festival for the entire continent.

“We believed that Asian football needed us to put forward our bid, especially since we are already prepared for the FIFA World Cup 2022. We hosted the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, which was a celebration for all Arabs, so we want to make the AFC Asian Cup 2023 a festival for all our friends throughout Asia,” Sheikh Hamad added.

Qatar 2023 Bid Vice President and Qatar Stars League CEO Hani Ballan voiced that the country is ready to host the tournament as it already has the capabilities to host Qatar World Cup.

“We are delighted to be hosting the AFC Asian Cup for the third time in our history. In 2011, we organised a memorable tournament, and we aspire to do that again in 2023. We want it to be a historic tournament, be it in terms of organisation, technical level, or viewership and attendance,” said Ballan.

Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani elected 

Meanwhile, Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani has been selected as the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Senior Vice President at the XXVI ANOC General Assembly 2022 in Seoul on Thursday.

Chosen by a panel, Sheikh Joaan was voted in by 166 votes as the sole candidate.

After winning the election, Sheikh Joaan said he was excited about what would come as he thanked the committee.

“I greatly appreciate your support and the trust you have shown in me. I also thank the Olympic Council of Asia for their nomination. Working to represent the interests of ANOC and the entire NOC family to the best of my ability starts now, and I am excited for what is to come,” said the Olympic Committee President.

The making of Qatar’s as a regional sports hub can be directed towards Sheikh Joaan, who has steered several international events, including the ANOC World Beach Games Qatar 2019, the 2019 World Athletics Championships, and Qatar 2015 Men’s Handball World Championship.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Sheikh Joaan had been appointed to the International Olympic Committee Olympism in the 365 Commission.

Sheikha Hind Bint Hamad Al Thani and Jassim Rashid Al Buenain were also appointed to the Olympic Education Commission and Olympic Programme Commission.

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