Thailand pulls out of AFC Asian Cup bidding

Thailand have withdrawn their bid to host the Asian Cup in 2023, the Asian Football Confederation confirmed on Friday.

A statement released by the AFC said: "Football Association of Thailand have today notified the Asian Football Confederation of its decision to withdraw from the on-going bidding process for the AFC Asian Cup to be staged in 2023."

It is not yet known why Thailand withdrew from the bidding which now leaves only China and South Korea contesting the right to host the quadrennial continental championship. The final hosting decision is expected to be made in 2018.

The United Arab Emirates are hosting the next Asian Cup in 2019 between 5th January and 1st February and participants in the event will be expanded from 16 to 24.

The eight venues to be used in 2019 to host the matches are Zayed Sports City Stadium, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium and Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium and Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, Al-Maktoum Stadium and Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, and Sharjah Stadium in Sharjah.