2023 AFC Asian Cup draw to be held in Doha today

2023 AFC Asian Cup draw to be held in Doha today

QLNews
By QLNews

All eyes in the continent will turn towards Qatar’s capital city Doha as it hosts the draw ceremony for the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Asian Cup Qatar 2023 at the Katara Opera House at 2 pm on Thursday. The tournament will be played from January 12 to February 10, 2024.

A number of legendary football players and top officials from both FIFA and AFC will add glitter to the ceremony which will see 24 powerhouse teams discover their path forward in the quadrennial tournament.

How does the draw work?

The 24 participating teams in the tournament will be divided into six groups — A to F — with four teams in each. The draw will be conducted from four pots, with each pot consisting of six teams. The pots are decided as per latest FIFA rankings. Hosts Qatar are in Pot 1.

Pot 1: Qatar, Japan, Iran, South Korea, Australia, Saudi Arabia

Pot 2: Iraq, UAE, Oman, Uzbekistan, China, Jordan

Pot 3: Bahrain, Syria, Palestine, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon

Pot 4: India, Tajikistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia

While AFC General Secretary Datuk Seri Windsor John will conduct the main draw, seven Asian football greats will assist him.

Qatar captain Hassan Al Haydos, who led the Maroons to a historic maiden triumph at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in UAE, and coach and two-time AFC Asian Footballer of the Year Server Djeparov, from Uzbekistan, will be two big names at the draw ceremony. South Korean great Park Ji-sung and Australian icon Tim Cahill will also join them.

A trailblazing trio of women — Japanese referee Yoshimi Yamashita, China’s Sun Wen and India’s Maymol Rocky — round off the group of draw assistants.

While Yamashita became one of the first women to officiate at the men’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar. While Sun won both Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards at the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 1999, Maymol led India’s women’s national team in 2017.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said he was confident the Qatar would deliver a true celebration of Asian football that will leave a lasting impression on the Continent’s players, teams and passionate fans.

“As we all witnessed just less than six months ago at the FIFA World Cup, Qatar is amongst the best sporting destinations not only in Asia, but across the globe. We’re confident we’ll experience a memorable spectacle befitting the ever-growing stature of the AFC Asian Cup,” said Shaikh Salman, while chairing the first AFC Executive Committee meeting for the 2023-27 term in Doha.

“For the first time in history, Asia’s crown jewel will be staged in FIFA World Cup stadiums, and we know our teams and players are eager to showcase their talent in some of the world’s finest sporting arenas.

“The AFC has reiterated our ambition to stage world-class competitions for our teams, players and match officials, and we must express our utmost gratitude to the Local Organising Committee, the Qatar Football Association and the Qatari Government for sharing our Vision and Mission for Asian football,” he added.

He wished the 24 competing teams the best for the competition ahead.

“The 24 teams deserve our praise for reaching this stage of the tournament under exceptional circumstances. We wish them the very best of luck ahead of the Final Draw. I know our players, teams and passionate fans are waiting eagerly for this milestone event, and the AFC and LOC are ready to host the best AFC Asian Cup in history,” he said.

The head coaches of all 24 participating teams are expected to be in attendance for the official draw. The ceremony will be hosted by well-known sports anchor John Dykes.

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