AFC Challenge Cup

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AFC Challenge Cup
AFC Challenge Cup.svg
Official logo of the AFC Challenge Cup
Founded 2006
Abolished 2014
Region Asia (AFC)
Number of teams 8 (at the finals)
Most successful team(s)  North Korea
(2 titles)
Website Official website

The AFC Challenge Cup was an international football competition for Asian Football Confederation (AFC) member countries that was categorized as "emerging countries" in the "Vision Asia" programme.[1] "Vision Asia", created by former AFC president, Mohammed Bin Hammam, is the AFC's plan for a continent wide programme to raise the standards of Asian football at all levels.[2] The AFC Challenge Cup, which reflected the philosophy of Vision Asia, was created for teams to experience playing in a continental competition with the possibility to win an AFC trophy and to potentially discover new talent.[3]

The inaugural tournament was hosted by Bangladesh in 2006 and is held biennially. An amendment to men's national team competitions in July 2006, meant that starting with the 2008 and 2010 editions of the AFC Challenge Cup, the winners automatically qualify for the AFC Asian Cup.[4]

In the 2011 and 2015 AFC Asian Cup tournaments, two qualification spots have been allocated to the two most recent AFC Challenge Cup winners. The 2014 tournament was the last edition of this competition, due to the expansion of the Asian Cup to the 24-nations format from the 16-nations one after the 2015 edition.[5][6]

Selection of teams[edit]

The AFC initially divided their 46 member nations into three groups in 2006. Although the tournament is meant for the countries of emerging associations class, some countries from the developing associations class and even the developed associations class have participated in the qualification and the finals of the tournament such as India, Maldives, Myanmar, North Korea, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. As a result, only one team from the emerging class ever won the tournament, when Palestine won in 2014. In late March 2012, the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association, although only an associate member of the AFC, was approved by the AFC to enter their national team in the competition.[7] In November 2012, the AFC announced North Korea's exclusion from future AFC Challenge Cups.[8]

  Eligible in the AFC Challenge Cup
  Former participants

The last 17 are classed as emerging associations, which need time to develop their football. They are eligible in the AFC Challenge Cup. These are the teams which participate:

Results[edit]

Year Host Final Losing semi-finalists Number of teams
Winner Score Runner-up
2006
Details
Bangladesh
Bangladesh

Tajikistan
4–0
Sri Lanka
 Kyrgyzstan and    Nepal 16
Year Host Final Third place match Number of teams
Winner Score Runner-up Third place Score Fourth place
2008
Details
India
India

India
4–1
Tajikistan

North Korea
4–0
Myanmar
8
2010
Details
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

North Korea
1–1 (a.e.t.)
(5–4 pens.)

Turkmenistan

Tajikistan
1–0
Myanmar
8
2012
Details
Nepal
Nepal

North Korea
2–1
Turkmenistan

Philippines
4–3
Palestine
8
2014
Details
Maldives
Maldives

Palestine
1–0
Philippines

Maldives
1–1 (a.e.t.)
(8–7 pens.)

Afghanistan
8

Successful national teams[edit]

Team Champion Runners-up Third place Fourth place
 North Korea 2 (2010, 2012) 1 (2008)
 Tajikistan 1 (2006) 1 (2008) 1 (2010)
 Palestine 1 (2014) 1 (2012)
 India 1 (2008)
 Turkmenistan 2 (2010, 2012)
 Philippines 1 (2014) 1 (2012)
 Sri Lanka 1 (2006)
 Kyrgyzstan 1 (2006^)
   Nepal 1 (2006^)
 Maldives 1 (2014)
 Myanmar 2 (2008, 2010)
 Afghanistan 1 (2014)

Participating nations[edit]

The participating countries of the AFC Challenge Cup and their number of appearances in the tournament.
  4 appearances
  3 appearances
  2 appearances
  1 appearance
  Never qualified
  Ineligible
  Not an associate member of AFC
Legend

For each tournament, the number of teams in each of the finals tournament are shown.

Teams 2006
(16 teams)
2008
(8 teams)
2010
(8 teams)
2012
(8 teams)
2014
(8 teams)
Years
 Afghanistan GS GS × 4th 3
 Bangladesh QF GS 2
 Bhutan GS 1
 Brunei GS × × 1
 Cambodia GS 1
 Chinese Taipei QF 1
 Guam GS 1
 India QF 1st GS GS 4
 Kyrgyzstan SF GS GS 3
 Laos × GS 1
 Macau GS 1
 Maldives GS 3rd 2
 Mongolia × 0
 Myanmar 4th 4th GS 3
   Nepal SF GS GS 3
 North Korea 3rd 1st 1st 3
 Northern Mariana Islands 0
 Pakistan GS 1
 Palestine QF × 4th 1st 3
 Philippines GS 3rd 2nd 3
 Sri Lanka 2nd GS GS 3
 Tajikistan 1st 2nd 3rd GS 4
 Timor-Leste × × × × × 0
 Turkmenistan GS 2nd 2nd GS 4

General statistics[edit]

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts.
 North Korea 15 12 2 1 35 4 +31 38
 Tajikistan 19 11 2 6 36 16 +20 34
 Turkmenistan 16 8 4 4 27 14 +13 28
 Palestine 14 8 3 3 29 8 +21 27
 Philippines 13 6 3 4 18 14 +4 21
 India 15 5 3 7 13 21 −8 18
 Kyrgyzstan 11 5 0 6 7 12 −5 15
 Myanmar 13 5 0 8 15 22 −7 15
 Sri Lanka 12 4 2 6 12 22 −10 14
   Nepal 11 3 2 6 11 14 −3 11
 Bangladesh 7 3 1 3 10 14 −4 10
 Maldives 8 2 2 4 9 12 −3 8
 Afghanistan 11 1 5 5 7 19 −12 8
 Chinese Taipei 4 1 2 1 3 5 −2 5
 Brunei 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
 Pakistan 3 1 1 1 3 4 −1 4
 Cambodia 3 1 0 2 4 6 −2 3
 Bhutan 3 0 1 2 0 3 −3 1
 Macau 3 0 1 2 2 8 −6 1
 Laos 3 0 1 2 1 7 −6 1
 Guam 3 0 0 3 0 17 −17 0

Awards[edit]

Most Valuable Players[edit]

Year Player
2006 Tajikistan Ibrahim Rabimov
2008 India Baichung Bhutia
2010 North Korea Ryang Yong-Gi
2012 North Korea Pak Nam-Chol
2014 State of Palestine Murad Ismail Said

Top scorers[edit]

Year Player Goals
2006 State of Palestine Fahed Attal 8
2008 North Korea Pak Song-Chol 6
2010 North Korea Ryang Yong-Gi 4
2012 Philippines Phil Younghusband 6
2014 State of Palestine Ashraf Nu'man 4

References[edit]

External links[edit]