2019 AFC Asian Cup

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2019 AFC Asian Cup
كأس آسيا 2019
2019 afc asian cup logo.png
Official logo
Tournament details
Host country United Arab Emirates
Dates 5 January – 1 February
Teams 24
Venue(s) 8 (in 4 host cities)
2015
2023

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup will be the 17th edition of the AFC Asian Cup, the quadrennial international men's football championship of Asia organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It will be held in the United Arab Emirates from 5 January to 1 February 2019.[1] The United Arab Emirates was announced as the host for the tournament on 9 March 2015, with Iran being the only remaining bidder for the right to host the 2019 finals.[2] It will be the second time that the United Arab Emirates hosts the tournament after the 1996 finals.

For the first time, the Asian Cup final tournament will be contested by 24 teams, having been expanded from the 16-team format that was used from 2004 to 2015.[3] Under this new format, the finalists will contest a group stage consisting of six groups of four teams, followed by a knockout stage of 16 teams.[4] The host nation automatically qualified for the final tournament, while the remaining 23 places were determined among the other 45 national teams through a qualifying competition, running from March 2015 to March 2018, in which the first two rounds also served as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification process for the AFC.

Australia are the defending champions going into the tournament, having won the previous competition in 2015. The winner of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup will earn the right to participate in the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup which is to be hosted by a yet to be determined AFC association after 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts, Qatar, lost the rights.[5] The 2021 Confederations Cup host country will have already qualified as hosts. If this country wins the Asian Cup, the runner-up will qualify.

Host selection

The bidding procedure and timeline for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup was approved at the AFC congress on 28 November 2012.[6] The winning bid was originally set to be announced at an AFC congress in June, then November 2014.[7] However, at its 60th Anniversary celebrations at the end of 2014, AFC gave the date of 'summer 2015' to when an announcement would be made.[8]

In January 2015, AFC general secretary Alex Soosay said that Iran and the United Arab Emirates were the only two remaining bidders for the 2019 Asian Cup, and that the eventual hosts would be announced in March 2015.[2]

On 9 March 2015, AFC announced the hosts during an AFC Executive Committee meeting in Manama, Bahrain.[9]

Teams

Qualification

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification process determined the 24 participating teams for the tournament. In 2014, a proposal to merge the preliminary qualification rounds of the FIFA World Cup with those of the AFC Asian Cup was ratified by the AFC Competitions Committee.[3] The new qualification structure took place in three stages, with the first two merging with the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification.[3] In the first round, the lowest ranked teams played home-and-away over two legs to reduce the total number of teams to 40. In the second round, the 40 teams were divided into eight groups of five to play home-and-away round-robin matches, where the eight group winners and the four best group runners-up qualified for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals. In the third round, the next best 24 teams eliminated from second round were divided into six groups of four and competed for the remaining slots of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.[10] The first qualifying round of the qualification took place on 12 March 2015, and the final match of the third round took place on 27 March 2018.[11][12]

Qualified teams

India, Syria, Thailand and Turkmenistan qualified to the tournament after being absent in several Asian Cup tournaments spanning between 2004 to 2015. Lebanon and Vietnam both qualified for the first time after hosting the tournaments, in 2000 and 2007 respectively. For Vietnam, this was the first time they qualified for the AFC Asian Cup as a unified nation, having participated as South Vietnam in the first two editions (1956 and 1960), outside of hosting the 2007 edition. This was also the first time Yemen qualified for the AFC Asian Cup as an unified country, due to FIFA and AFC categorizing the participation of South Yemen in the 1976 as a distinct record not related to Yemen, whom succeeding North Yemen. In addition to Yemen, the Philippines and Kyrgyzstan also marked this edition as their first times to qualify for an Asian Cup. Palestine qualified to the AFC Asian Cup for the first time, having qualified to the 2015 as champions of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup instead.

Tajikistan, along with its fellow CAFF member nation Afghanistan, were the only two countries from their confederation who failed to qualify for the tournament. Iran qualified to the Asian Cup for the first time as a CAFF member, having qualified as part of the WAFF before. Malaysia and Indonesia were the only of four remaining hosts of the previous 2007 edition who did not qualify for the Asian Cup, as Malaysia had ended their campaign in disaster with just one point out of six matches; while Indonesia was barred from entering the qualification due to tension inside the PSSI. Kuwait was the only Arab country not to qualify for the Asian Cup, as they were barred from competing the qualification due to FIFA’s sanction.

Draw

The draw of the final tournament will be held on 4 May 2018, 19:30 GST, at the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The FIFA rankings of April 2018 will be used as basis for the seeding. The 12 teams that secured their place in the final tournament by the end of the second round of the qualification process will be placed in Pots 1 and 2 while the remaining teams which qualified during the third round will be allocated to the remaining pots. As hosts, the United Arab Emirates will be seeded into Pot 1. The 24 teams will be drawn into six groups of four teams, with the hosts placed in position A1.[13]

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4

 United Arab Emirates (81) (hosts)
 Iran (36)
 Australia (40)
 Japan (60)
 South Korea (61)
 Saudi Arabia (70)

 China PR (73)
 Syria (76)
 Uzbekistan (88)
 Iraq (88)
 Qatar (101)
 Thailand (122)

 Kyrgyzstan (75)
 Lebanon (82)
 Palestine (83)
 Oman (87)
 India (97)
 Vietnam (103)

 North Korea (112)
 Philippines (113)
 Bahrain (116)
 Jordan (117)
 Yemen (125)
 Turkmenistan (129)

Squads

Each team must register a squad of minimum 18 players and maximum 23 players, minimum three of whom must be goalkeepers (Regulations Articles 24.4 and 24.5).[4]

Venues

The eight venues to host 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.[14]

Abu Dhabi
Zayed Sports City Stadium Al Jazira Stadium Al Nahyan Stadium
Capacity: 43,620 (under expansions) Capacity: 42,056 (under expansions) Capacity: 12,000 (under expansions)
Gulf Cup (36).jpg Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium.JPG Al-Nahyan Stadium.jpg
Dubai
Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium
Capacity: 12,000 (under expansions)
Dubai Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium 2.jpg
Dubai
Al-Maktoum Stadium
Capacity: 12,000 (under expansions)
Al Ain Sharjah
Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium Sharjah Stadium
Capacity: 25,965 (under expansions) Capacity: 16,000 (under expansions) Capacity: 11,073 (under expansions)
Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium night.jpg Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium.jpg

Match ball

The official match ball will be the Nike Merlin.

Format

Only the hosts will receive an automatic qualification spot, the other 23 teams will qualify through a qualification tournament. At the finals, the 24 teams will be drawn into six groups of four teams each. The teams in each group play a single round robin. After the group stage, the top two teams and the four best third teams will advance to the round of 16. The winners will advance to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals. The semifinal winners will play in final. The format is exactly the one which was applied to the 1986, 1990, and 1994 FIFA World Cups, except for the absence of a third place play-off.


Schedule

Zayed Sports City Stadium, one of three stadiums in Abu Dhabi, will stage both the opening match and the final. The match schedule itself will maximise the use of venues. At least five matches will be allocated to each venue, with every ground hosting at least one match in the knockout stage. The semi-finals will be played on different days in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. No city will host two matches on the same day – except in the final round of group stage matches when simultaneous kick-off is required.

Group stage

The top two teams of each group and the four best third-placed teams advance to the round of 16.

All times are local, GST (UTC+4).

Tiebreakers

Teams are ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss), and if tied on points, the following tiebreaking criteria are applied, in the order given, to determine the rankings (Regulations Article 9.3):[4]

  1. Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  2. Goal difference in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  3. Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  4. If more than two teams are tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, a subset of teams are still tied, all head-to-head criteria above are reapplied exclusively to this subset of teams;
  5. Goal difference in all group matches;
  6. Goals scored in all group matches;
  7. Penalty shoot-out if only two teams are tied and they met in the last round of the group;
  8. Disciplinary points (yellow card = 1 point, red card as a result of two yellow cards = 3 points, direct red card = 3 points, yellow card followed by direct red card = 4 points);
  9. Drawing of lots.

Group A

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  United Arab Emirates 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Knockout stage
2 A2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 A3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Possible Knockout stage
4 A4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
First match(es) will be played on January 2019. Source: AFC
Rules for classification: Group stage tiebreakers
United Arab Emirates  v
v

United Arab Emirates  v
v

v  United Arab Emirates
v

Group B

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 B1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Knockout stage
2 B2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 B3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Possible Knockout stage
4 B4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
First match(es) will be played on January 2019. Source: AFC
Rules for classification: Group stage tiebreakers
v
v

v
v

v
v

Group C

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 C1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Knockout stage
2 C2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 C3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Possible Knockout stage
4 C4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
First match(es) will be played on January 2019. Source: AFC
Rules for classification: Group stage tiebreakers
v
v

v
v

v
v

Group D

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 D1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Knockout stage
2 D2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 D3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Possible Knockout stage
4 D4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
First match(es) will be played on January 2019. Source: AFC
Rules for classification: Group stage tiebreakers
v
v

v
v

v
v

Group E

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 E1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Knockout stage
2 E2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 E3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Possible Knockout stage
4 E4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
First match(es) will be played on January 2019. Source: AFC
Rules for classification: Group stage tiebreakers
v
v

v
v

v
v

Group F

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 F1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Knockout stage
2 F2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 F3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Possible Knockout stage
4 F4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
First match(es) will be played on January 2019. Source: AFC
Rules for classification: Group stage tiebreakers
v
v

v
v

v
v

Ranking of third-placed teams

Pos Grp Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 A Third place Group A 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Knockout stage
2 B Third place Group B 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 C Third place Group C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 D Third place Group D 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 E Third place Group E 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
6 F Third place Group F 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
First match(es) will be played on January 2019. Source: AFC
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored; 4) Disciplinary points; 5) Drawing of lots.[4]
Combinations of matches in the Round of 16

The specific match-ups involving the third-placed teams depend on which four third-placed teams qualified for the round of 16:[4]

  Combination according to the four qualified teams
Third-placed teams
qualify from groups
1A
vs
1B
vs
1C
vs
1D
vs
A B C D 3C 3D 3A 3B
A B C E 3C 3A 3B 3E
A B C F 3C 3A 3B 3F
A B D E 3D 3A 3B 3E
A B D F 3D 3A 3B 3F
A B E F 3E 3A 3B 3F
A C D E 3C 3D 3A 3E
A C D F 3C 3D 3A 3F
A C E F 3C 3A 3F 3E
A D E F 3D 3A 3F 3E
B C D E 3C 3D 3B 3E
B C D F 3C 3D 3B 3F
B C E F 3E 3C 3B 3F
B D E F 3E 3D 3B 3F
C D E F 3C 3D 3F 3E

Knockout stage

In the knockout stage, extra time and penalty shoot-out are used to decide the winner if necessary (Regulations Articles 12.1 and 12.3).[4]

In the round of 16, the match-ups to take place as follows:[4]

  • R16-1: Runner-up Group A v Runner-up Group C
  • R16-2: Winner Group D v 3rd Place Group B/E/F
  • R16-3: Winner Group B v 3rd Place Group A/C/D
  • R16-4: Winner Group F v Runner-up Group E
  • R16-5: Winner Group C v 3rd Place Group A/B/F
  • R16-6: Winner Group E v Runner-up Group D
  • R16-7: Winner Group A v 3rd Place Group C/D/E
  • R16-8: Runner-up Group B v Runner-up Group F

The quarter-final match-ups are:[4]

  • QF1: Winner R16-1 v Winner R16-2
  • QF2: Winner R16-3 v Winner R16-4
  • QF3: Winner R16-5 v Winner R16-6
  • QF4: Winner R16-7 v Winner R16-8

The semi-final match-ups are:[4]

  • SF1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF2
  • SF2: Winner QF3 v Winner QF4

The final match-up is: Winner SF1 v Winner SF2. As of the 2019 tournament, there will be no third-place match.[4]

Bracket

 
Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
 
                           
 
January –
 
 
Runner-up Group A
 
January –
 
Runner-up Group C
 
Winner R16-1
 
January –
 
Winner R16-2
 
Winner Group D
 
January –
 
3rd Group B / E / F
 
Winner QF1
 
January –
 
Winner QF2
 
Winner Group B
 
January –
 
3rd Group A / C / D
 
Winner R16-3
 
January –
 
Winner R16-4
 
Winner Group F
 
1 February – Abu Dhabi
 
Runner-up Group E
 
Winner SF1
 
January –
 
Winner SF2
 
Winner Group C
 
January –
 
3rd Group A / B / F
 
Winner R16-5
 
January –
 
Winner R16-6
 
Winner Group E
 
January –
 
Runner-up Group D
 
Winner QF3
 
January –
 
Winner QF4
 
Winner Group A
 
January –
 
3rd Group C / D / E
 
Winner R16-7
 
January –
 
Winner R16-8
 
Runner-up Group B
 
 
Runner-up Group F
 

Round of 16

Runner-up Group A R16-1 Runner-up Group C

Winner Group D R16-2 3rd Group B / E / F

Winner Group B R16-3 3rd Group A / C / D

Winner Group F R16-4 Runner-up Group E

Winner Group C R16-5 3rd Group A / B / F

Winner Group E R16-6 Runner-up Group D

Winner Group A R16-7 3rd Group C / D / E

Runner-up Group B R16-8 Runner-up Group F

Quarter-finals

Winner R16-1 QF1 Winner R16-2

Winner R16-3 QF2 Winner R16-4

Winner R16-5 QF3 Winner R16-6

Winner R16-7 QF4 Winner R16-8

Semi-finals

Winner QF1 SF1 Winner QF2

Winner QF3 SF2 Winner QF4

Final

Winner SF1 v Winner SF2

Marketing

The official logo of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup was unveiled on 23 January 2017 in Abu Dhabi during the drawing ceremony for the third round of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification.[15] The colors used in the logo were derived from the flag of the UAE. The seven hexagons formed by colored ribbons represents the seven emirates of the host country. The interlacing hexagon pattern of the logo was inspired from Islamic art, as well as the old Emirati tradition of using palm leaves, locally known as saf, in weaving. The outer circle along with the geometric design within it symbolizes the sport of football.[16]

Slogan

The slogan "Bringing Asia Together" (Arabic: "جلب آسيا معا") was unveiled on 5 January 2018 with one year to go.


Concerns and controversies

Poor attendance records have been seen as a problem for the UAE in past tournaments, but Asian Cup officials are confident the tournament will attract significant numbers.[17]

References

  1. ^ "AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 stadiums and match dates confirmed". the-afc.com. 
  2. ^ a b "Asian Cup: Australia backed as future World Cup host by AFC general secretary". abc.net.au. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "ExCo approves expanded AFC Asian Cup finals". AFC. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "AFC Asian Cup 2019 Competition Regulations". AFC. 
  5. ^ "FIFA will move 2021 Confederations Cup from Qatar to different Asian country". mlssoccer.com. Retrieved 27 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Maldives to host 2014 AFC Challenge Cup". AFC. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "New 60,000 stadium to be built in Dubai Sports City as part of 2019 Asian Cup bid". Arabian Industry.com. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Decision on next Asian Cup hosts unlikely before mid-2015". Yahoo! Eurosport UK. 29 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "United Arab Emirates to host 2019 AFC Asian Cup". the-afc.com. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "AFC Competitions Committee meeting". Asian Football Confederation. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "AFC Calendar of Competitions 2015" (PDF). AFC. 
  12. ^ "AFC Calendar of Competitions 2016–2018" (PDF). AFC. 
  13. ^ "Seedings confirmed for UAE 2019 draw". Asian Football Confederation. 12 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018. 
  14. ^ "AFC ASIAN CUP UAE 2019 STADIUMS AND MATCH DATES CONFIRMED". the-afc.com. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "Official Draw for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers Final Round and Logo Unveil Takes Place in Abu Dhabi". Yahoo!. PR Newswire. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2017. 
  16. ^ "AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ Logo Revealed". Asian Football Confederation. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2017. 
  17. ^ "UAE awarded hosting rights for 2019 Asian Cup". thenational.ae. 9 March 2015. 

External links

  • AFC Asian Cup, the-AFC.com
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