Qatar, the 2019 Asian Cup champions, will bid for the 2027 edition ©Getty Images

Qatar is preparing a bid for the 2027 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, setting-up another head-to-head with Middle Eastern rival Saudi Arabia.

The news, as reported by Inside World Football, comes after the Olympic Council of Asia announced that bids were submitted by both nations for the 2030 Asian Games.

Tensions between the neighbouring countries have been high since 2017, when Saudi Arabia led a blockade of Qatar after accusing the country of having links to terrorism.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia proposed the creation of the Salwa Canal, which will cut their border with Qatar and effectively turn their neigbour into an island if completed.

If successful in bidding, Qatar will host the competition for the first time since 2011, while Saudi Arabia or India, the other nation involved in the race, would host the competition for the first time.

Qatar are set to host the 2022 World Cup in November and December due to the extreme heat during the summer ©Getty Images
Qatar are set to host the 2022 World Cup in November and December due to the extreme heat during the summer ©Getty Images

Qatar are the current Asian Cup champions after surprising Japan in the final on their way to a 3-1 victory in the United Arab Emirates in 2019.

They are also set to host the biggest football competition in the world when the FIFA World Cup controversially comes to the nation in 2022.

There are still more than two months for nations to submit official bids for the 2027 Asian Cup after the AFC extended the deadline to June 30.

The AFC's 30-member Executive Committee will make a decision in 2021 at the earliest, but this could be pushed back due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Uzbekistan, Jordan and Iraq have also expressed interest in hosting the competition in the past and could still file a bid before the deadline.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said that although China were given just four years to prepare for the 2023 tournament, he believes that from 2027 there should be more time for hosts to be organised for their event.

"China has just four years in which to prepare - and although they are extremely capable - I would like to allow future hosts even more time," he said.

"With the expanded format, which was launched in the UAE in 2019, we have 24 teams and 51 matches and so we need eight to 10 world-class stadiums."