Nations considering bids to host the 2027 AFC Asian Cup have been given an extra three months to submit their expressions of interest ©AFC

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has decided to extend the deadline for Member Associations to submit their "expression of interest" for hosting the 2027 AFC Asian Cup from March 31 to June 30, 2020.

The decision was taken in light of the current coronavirus pandemic to allow Member Associations, many of whom have been affected by the global outbreak, sufficient time to meet their internal processes and timelines.

Saudi Arabia is the only country to have confirmed its candidacy for the 2027 AFC Asian Cup.

It was announced in February that the nation had officially submitted a bid to the AFC.

If successful, it would be the latest huge sporting event confirmed for the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has won the AFC Asian Cup three times, in 1984, 1988 and 1996 but has never hosted the tournament.

Qatar won the most recent edition of the AFC Asian Cup in 2019 ©Getty Images
Qatar won the most recent edition of the AFC Asian Cup in 2019 ©Getty Images

At its meeting in Hong Kong in December last year, the AFC Executive Committee had agreed to provide future hosts for the AFC Asian Cup, beginning with the 2027 edition, with more preparation time.

The agreement came as part of what the AFC describes as its "continued commitment" towards upgrading its competitions and enhancing Asia’s premier men’s football tournament.

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup, held in the United Arab Emirates and which broke all digital media engagement and television viewership records, was the biggest ever edition following the decision to expand the competition from 16 to 24 national teams.

Qatar were crowned champions for the first time after beating Japan in the final.

They had earlier defeated the home nation in the semi-finals.

China was confirmed as host of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup at the AFC Extraordinary Congress in Paris in June 2019.

The country last staged the tournament in 2004, when it finished as runners-up after losing to Japan in the final.