(LEAD) S. Korea prepared to submit bid files for AFC Asian Cup by new deadline
(ATTN: CHANGES headline; UPDATES first 5 paras with altered deadline)
By Yoo Jee-ho
SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean football governing body said Wednesday it is prepared to submit its final candidature files for Asia's top tournament by the new deadline.
The Korea Football Association (KFA) said the deadline for candidates to hand in their final bidding book for the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup has been pushed from Wednesday to Sept. 15.
The KFA said the AFC had informed it of that decision late Tuesday, with the official notification arriving Wednesday.
Earlier Wednesday, the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced the KFA had sent its official bidding file, along with the government guarantee and contracts on use of match stadiums and practice facilities, to the AFC.
"We haven't settled on the date but we will submit our files around Sept. 15," a KFA official said.
The continental football governing body will conduct an on-site inspection sometime in September and will announce the host of its signature tournament on Oct. 17 following its executive committee meeting.
South Korea is up against Australia, Indonesia and Qatar.
China had been set to stage the quadrennial tournament in 2023 but withdrew as the host in May due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AFC Asian Cup was first held in 1956, and South Korea hosted the 1960 tournament. The Taeguk Warriors have only won two Asian Cups -- in 1956 and 1960.
They have had four runner-up finishes since, most recently in 2015, when they lost to Australia 2-1 in extra time.
The sports ministry has pledged its full support for the bid and also asked two neighboring countries, China and Japan, for their help in the bidding process.
"The Asian Cup is a significant international event, and we will work with the KFA and local governments of potential host cities during the AFC inspection," the ministry said in a statement. "We will unveil the honorary ambassador for our Asian Cup bid Friday and try to create buzz for the bid."
Australia hosted the 2015 Asian Cup and will co-host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup with New Zealand. Indonesia staged the 2007 Asian Cup with Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, and will be the host of the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Qatar won the most recent Asian Cup in 2019 and hosted the continental tournament in 2011. Qatar will hold the FIFA World Cup this year and will be able to use the same venues if it wins the bid for the 2023 Asian Cup.
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