Iconic Lusail Stadium to host opening and final matches of 2023 AFC Asian Cup

Iconic Lusail Stadium to host opening and final matches of 2023 AFC Asian Cup

QLNews
By QLNews

Both the opening and closing matches of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup will take place at the iconic Lusail Stadium, organisers announced on Monday.

An updated match schedule shows that hosts Qatar will take on Lebanon in the tournament’s opening match on January 12. The match is set for kick-off at 7pm. The final match, on February 12, will also be played at the same venue.

In addition to the 88,000-seat Lusail Stadium, which famously hosted the final of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, six other venues — Al Bayt, Al Janoub, Al Thumama, Ahmad bin Ali, Education City and Khalifa International Stadiums — will also be used.

The venues will be joined by Jassim bin Hamad and Abdulla bin Khalifa, homes to Qatar Stars League sides Al Sadd SC and Al Duhail SC respectively.

Twenty-four teams will make up six groups, with as many as three matches per day taking place during the group stage.

Qatar’s compact nature will mean that fans will be able to attend more than one match during a day, giving visiting spectators the ability to stay in one place of accommodation throughout the tournament.

“The match schedule will see some exciting fixtures between Asia’s biggest teams. Once again, our stadiums will come to life with passion and excitement, as spectators from all around the continent will make their way to Qatar for the Asian Cup. We’re thrilled to be hosting this prestigious tournament for a third time and are confident that this will be the best edition of the tournament thus far,” said Jassim Al Jassim, CEO of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 Local Organizing Committee.

Qatar previously hosted Asia’s premier footballing competition in 1988 and 2011. The defending champions, who lifted the trophy after going on an unbeaten run in 2019, will be keen on retaining their title on home soil.

The Al Annabi were drawn into group A alongside China, Tajikistan and Lebanon. With the opener taking place at Lusail Stadium, Qatar’s remaining two group matches will be held at Al Bayt Stadium, versus Tajikistan, on January 17 (5.30pm kick-off) and at Khalifa International Stadium, against China, on January 22 (6pm kick-off).

The top two teams from each group as well as the four best third-placed teams will compete in the round of 16, which will start on January 28. The final match will take place on February 10 at Lusail Stadium, 6pm kick-off.

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