2015 AFC Asian Cup
|Venue(s)||5 (in 5 host cities)|
The 2015 AFC Asian Cup will be the 16th edition of the AFC Asian Cup, an international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It is scheduled to be held in Australia from 9 to 31 January 2015. The winners of the tournament will earn the right to participate in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, which is to be hosted by Russia.
Australia was chosen as the host on 5 January 2011, after being the sole bidder for the right to host the 2015 tournament. The matches will be played in five different stadia in five cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle. It will be the first time that Australia hosts the tournament, and it will also be the first time the Asian Cup will be hosted outside the continent of Asia. As hosts, Australia have automatically qualified for the final tournament, while the remaining 15 finalists (with the exception of Japan and South Korea who qualified via their position in the previous Asian Cup) were decided through a qualification process, featuring 44 teams, from February 2013 to March 2014.
- 1 Host selection
- 2 Qualification
- 3 Venues
- 4 Broadcasting
- 5 Match ball
- 6 Match officials
- 7 Squads
- 8 Group stage
- 9 Knockout stage
- 10 Marketing
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Australia was the sole bidder for the hosting rights and was officially named host on 5 January 2011.
"Considering the efforts of the Football Federation Australia in developing the game on their territory and considering also all the achievements that have been made towards the development of football in Australia and to encourage Australia to take steps towards developing the game, I am happy and honoured to announce that the executive committee of the Asian Football Confederation has approved Australia as the host nation of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup," said then-AFC President, Mohammed Bin Hammam.
The 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification process determined the 16 participating teams for the tournament. In the initial scheme, ten places were determined by qualification matches, while six places were reserved for the 2015 host nation, top three finishers in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, and the two winners of the AFC Challenge Cup. Though, as the host nation Australia also finished as runners-up in the 2011 Asian Cup, the initial six automatic qualification spots were reduced to five, with a total of 11 spots eventually determined by the qualification matches, in which 20 AFC members competed.
There were two main competitive paths to the 2015 Asian Cup. The AFC Challenge Cup acted as a qualification competition for eligible countries within the emerging and developing category of member associations. The winners of the AFC Challenge Cup competitions in 2012 and 2014 qualified automatically to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup finals. The remaining spots were available for the teams competing in the main Asian Cup preliminaries. The AFC decided that the 20 teams involved in the qualifiers would be drawn into five groups of four teams each. The top two teams from each group and one best third-placed team from among all the groups would qualify for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
The following sixteen teams qualified for the tournament.
|Country||Qualified as||Qualified on||Previous appearance in tournament1|
|Australia||Hosts||5 January 2011||2 (2007, 2011)|
|Japan||2011 AFC Asian Cup winners||25 January 2011||7 (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)|
|South Korea||2011 AFC Asian Cup 3rd place||28 January 2011||12 (1956, 1960, 1964, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)|
|North Korea||2012 Challenge Cup winners||19 March 2012||3 (1980, 1992, 2011)|
|Bahrain||Group D winners||15 November 2013||4 (1988, 2004, 2007, 2011)|
|United Arab Emirates||Group E winners||15 November 2013||8 (1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2007, 2011)|
|Saudi Arabia||Group C winners||15 November 2013||8 (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)|
|Oman||Group A winners||19 November 2013||2 (2004, 2007)|
|Uzbekistan||Group E runners-up||19 November 2013||5 (1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)|
|Qatar||Group D runners-up||19 November 2013||8 (1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)|
|Iran||Group B winners||19 November 2013||12 (1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)|
|Kuwait||Group B runners-up||19 November 2013||9 (1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2011)|
|Jordan||Group A runners-up||4 February 2014||2 (2004, 2011)|
|Iraq||Group C runners-up||5 March 2014||7 (1972, 1976, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)|
|China PR||Best third-placed team||5 March 2014||10 (1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011)|
|Palestine||2014 Challenge Cup winners||30 May 2014||0 (debut)|
1 Bold indicates champion for that year.
The draw for the final tournament was held at the Sydney Opera House on 26 March 2014. The 16 participating teams were drawn into the four groups of the group stage. In preparation for this, the teams were organised into four pots using the March 2014 FIFA World Rankings (rankings beside the qualified teams), with the host nation Australia automatically occupying the A1 position of Pot 1. At the time of the draw, the identity of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup winners was not known yet, and they were automatically placed into Pot 4.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
|Stadium Australia||Newcastle Stadium||Brisbane Stadium|
|Capacity: 84,000||Capacity: 33,000||Capacity: 52,500|
|Melbourne Rectangular Stadium|
Tickets for the venues were sold directly by AFC via its website, or distributed by the football associations of the 16 finalists. 500,000 tickets were available for the 31 tournament matches. Over 45,000 international visitors were forecast to visit Australia during the tournament. Prices varied from $15 (for a seat behind the goals at a group match) to $150 (for a seat in the main stand at the final). In addition to individual match tickets, fans could buy packages to see all matches played at one specific venue.
Team base camps
Each team had a "team base camp" for its stay between the matches. From an initial list of 27 potential locations, the national associations chose their locations in 2014. The teams will train and resided in these locations throughout the tournament, travelling to games staged away from their bases.
|Team||Arrival||Last match||Base camp||Group stage venues||QF venues||SF venues||Final venue|
|Australia||29 December||Sydney||Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane|
|Bahrain||22 December||Ballarat||Melbourne, Canberra & Sydney|
|China PR||29 December||Adelaide||Brisbane & Canberra|
|Iran||31 December||Sydney||Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane|
|Iraq||1 January||Canberra||Brisbane & Canberra|
|Japan||3 January||Cessnock||Newcastle, Brisbane & Melbourne|
|Jordan||23 December||Newcastle||Brisbane & Melbourne|
|Kuwait||18 December||Queanbeyan||Melbourne, Canberra & Newcastle|
|North Korea||15 December||Canberra||Sydney, Melbourne & Canberra|
|Oman||28 December||Sydney||Canberra, Sydney & Newcastle|
|Palestine||2 January||Brisbane||Newcastle, Melbourne & Canberra|
|Qatar||28 December||Canberra||Canberra & Sydney|
|Saudi Arabia||26 December||Brisbane||Brisbane & Melbourne|
|South Korea||27 December||Brisbane||Canberra & Brisbane|
|United Arab Emirates||26 December||Gold Coast||Canberra & Brisbane|
|Uzbekistan||3 January||Melbourne||Sydney, Brisbane & Melbourne|
The tournament will be broadcast live by around 100 TV channels covering the whole world. 800,000,000 people were expected to watch matches, with the tournament reaching a potential TV audience of more than 2.5 billion people. Below is the list of confirmed broadcasting right holders for 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
The Nike Ordem 2 was announced as the official 2015 Asian Cup match ball on 1 October 2014. The ball features the traditional colors of the tournament. The mainly white ball has a distinctive design with a mainly red graphic pattern and yellow details for better visibility. It shows the official 2015 AFC Asian Cup logo as well as a black Swoosh. The ball was designed for true flight, accuracy and control, and features Nike Aerowtrac grooves and a micro-textured casing. Nike RaDaR (Rapid Decision and Response) technology with a unique graphic upper is also utilised in its design to see the ball faster, while the three layer synthetic upper is made for optimal touch.
Each country will have a final squad of 23 players (three of whom must be goalkeepers) which must be submitted before the deadline of 30 December 2014.
The winners and runners-up from each group advance to the knockout stage.
- Greater number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned
- Goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned
- Greater number of goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned
- Goal difference in all the group matches
- Greater number of goals scored in all the group matches
- Penalty shoot-out if only two teams are involved and they are both on the field of play
- Fewer score calculated according to the number of yellow and red cards received in the group matches (1 point for a single yellow card, 3 points for a red card as a consequence of two yellow cards, 3 points for a direct red card, 4 points for a yellow card followed by a direct red card)
- Drawing of lots
|1||Australia (H)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advance to knockout stage|
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
|9 January 2015|
|Australia||Match 1||Kuwait||Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne|
|10 January 2015|
|South Korea||Match 2||Oman||Canberra Stadium, Canberra|
|13 January 2015|
|Kuwait||Match 9||South Korea||Canberra Stadium, Canberra|
|Oman||Match 10||Australia||Stadium Australia, Sydney|
|17 January 2015|
|Australia||Match 17||South Korea||Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane|
|Oman||Match 18||Kuwait||Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle|
|1||Uzbekistan||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advance to knockout stage|
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
|1||Iran||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advance to knockout stage|
|2||United Arab Emirates||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
|11 January 2015|
|United Arab Emirates||Match 6||Qatar||Canberra Stadium, Canberra|
|Iran||Match 5||Bahrain||Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne|
|15 January 2015|
|Bahrain||Match 13||United Arab Emirates||Canberra Stadium, Canberra|
|Qatar||Match 14||Iran||Stadium Australia, Sydney|
|19 January 2015|
|Iran||Match 21||United Arab Emirates||Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane|
|Qatar||Match 22||Bahrain||Stadium Australia, Sydney|
|1||Japan||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advance to knockout stage|
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
|12 January 2015|
|Japan||Match 7||Palestine||Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle|
|Jordan||Match 8||Iraq||Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane|
|16 January 2015|
|Palestine||Match 15||Jordan||Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne|
|Iraq||Match 16||Japan||Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane|
|20 January 2015|
|Japan||Match 23||Jordan||Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne|
|Iraq||Match 24||Palestine||Canberra Stadium, Canberra|
|22 January – Melbourne|
|Winner Group A|
|26 January – Sydney|
|Runner-up Group B|
|Winner Match 25|
|23 January – Canberra|
|Winner Match 27|
|Winner Group C|
|31 January – Sydney|
|Runner-up Group D|
|Winner Match 29|
|22 January – Brisbane|
|Winner Match 30|
|Winner Group B|
|27 January – Newcastle|
|Runner-up Group A|
|Winner Match 26||Third place|
|23 January – Sydney|
|Winner Match 28||30 January – Newcastle|
|Winner Group D|
|Loser Match 29|
|Runner-up Group C|
|Loser Match 30|
22 January 2015
|Winner Group A||Match 25||Runner-up Group B|
22 January 2015
|Winner Group B||Match 26||Runner-up Group A|
23 January 2015
|Winner Group C||Match 27||Runner-up Group D|
23 January 2015
|Winner Group D||Match 28||Runner-up Group C|
26 January 2015
|Winner Match 25||Match 29||Winner Match 27|
27 January 2015
|Winner Match 26||Match 30||Winner Match 28|
Third place match
30 January 2015
|Loser Match 29||Match 31||Loser Match 30|
31 January 2015
|Winner Match 29||Match 32||Winner Match 30|
The Trophy Tour commenced in China in September 2014, it then travelled to Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Korea Republic and Japan before arriving in Australia in December, where it was taken to all five AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 host cities.
The opening ceremony of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup will take place on 9 January, at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, before the opening match of the tournament between hosts Australia and Kuwait. The ceremony will be produced by a consortium of sport event specialists Twenty3 Sports + Entertainment and creative technology firm Spinifex Group. The consortium has worked on major international sporting events including the 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.  The opening ceremony for the Asian Cup will feature Australian DJ, singer and dancer Havana Brown and Australian indie pop band Sheppard. It will also feature 80 children from local junior football clubs and a performing cast of more than 120 Australian dancers, acrobats, Indigenous performers and football freestylers.
Logo and mascot
The official logo for the tournament was unveiled at a special event in Melbourne, in October 2012. Designed by Sydney agency, WiteKite. The logo depicts a stylised player, kicking a football from the east coast of Australia across country towards Asia. The ball also represents the Australian summer sun arcing west from Australia to Asia. The four golden bands forming the map of Australia represent the four host cities. The design is embraced by the AFC holding device.
AFC announced ten official sponsors and six official supporters as shown below.
|Official sponsors||Official supporters|
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- "Automatic bye to 2015 Finals for top-three". the-afc.com. 24 January 2011.
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- "2015 Asian Cup". nswtaxi.org.au. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- City of Ballarat Press Release
- "Official broadcasters". afcasiancup.com. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
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- "Channels Telecasting Asian Cup 2015". tsmplay.com. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- "Nike 2015 AFC Asian Cup Ball Unveiled". footyheadlines.com. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Competition Regulations – AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015".
- "Match Schedule AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015". AFC.
- "AFC Asian Cup trophy set for host city tour". socceroos.com.au. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Victoria to open Australia’s biggest ever international football event". premier.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Consortium appointed to create Asian Cup opening ceremony". mumbrella.com.au. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Asian Cup to kick-start Melbourne sporting feast". heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
- "2015 AFC Asian Cup logo". designstation.com.au. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 Preliminary Draw Conducted and Competition Logo Launched". footballnsw.com.au. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Nutmeg the Wombat named Cup mascot". AFC Asian Cup. 11 November 2014.