The AFC U-19 Championship, formerly known as AFC Youth Championship, is an annual football competition organised by the sport's Asian governing body, Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The competition has been held since 1959. Between 1959 and 1978 the contest held every year, since 1980 it has been held every two years. The tournament has been played in a number of different formats during its existence. Currently it consists of two stages, similarly to AFC's other Asian Championship competitions. The qualifying stage is open to all AFC members, and the final stage is contested between sixteen teams. The last tournament was held in UAE.