AIFF HAVE FORMALLY SUBMITTED a bid to host the AFC Asian Cup 2027 in India, along with four other national associations.
The other four who have thrown their hats in the ring are Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI), Qatar Football Association (QFA), Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) and Uzbekistan Football Association (UFA).
A statement from the Asian Football Confederation said,
"Now, all five will be required to submit a Letter of Undertaking to meet the List of Requirements for the tournament by October 30, 2020 as the next stage of the process. The successful host of the 19th edition of the AFC Asian Cup for 2027 will be announced in 2021."
It has been known for some time that AIFF are interested in hosting the continental championship, and their claim is boosted by the successful hosting of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017, which became the most popular edition of the tournament in history. The initiative included massive infrastructure upgradations in host cities Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Navi Mumbai, Margao and Kochi; the benefits of which are being reaped till this day and will be one of India's strong points for hosting the Asian Cup.
India will also host the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, which was expected to take place this year but has been postponed to next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A successful execution of this task of hosting this tournament within the safety of a secure bio bubble will further help AIFF's case.
The Indian national team has qualified for two of the last three editions of the Asian Cup. The Blue Tigers' performance in the World Cup Qualifiers for 2022 have been below expectations but they are still well on track to qualify for the Asian Cup 2023 which is scheduled to take place in China.
If India qualify for the Asian Cup 2023 it will be the first time they appear in back to back editions of the Asian Cup, and a successful bid to host the Asian Cup 2027 will ensure their appearance in the tournament for three times straight. Having the tournament take place in the country will also be a huge boost for the popularity of the sport in the country.