2011 AFC Asian Cup
|2011 كأس آسيا|
|Teams||16 (from 1 confederation)|
|Venue(s)||5 (in 2 host cities)|
|Champions||Japan (4th title)|
|Third place||South Korea|
|Goals scored||90 (2.81 per match)|
|Attendance||405,361 (12,668 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Koo Ja-cheol (5 goals)|
|Best player(s)||Keisuke Honda|
|Fair play award||South Korea|
The 2011 AFC Asian Cup was the 15th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The finals were held in Qatar from 7 to 29 January 2011. It was the fifteenth time the tournament has been held, and the second time it has been hosted by Qatar, the other being the 1988 AFC Asian Cup. Japan won the cup after a 1–0 win against Australia, and earned the right to compete in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil as the representative from AFC.
Qatar, India and Iran all lodged interest in hosting the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, while Australia also considered making a late bid. Qatar officially submitted their bid on 19 June 2006, while India withdrew their interest and Iran failed to submit proper documentation for their bid on time.
Qatar was announced as host nation on 29 July 2007, during the 2007 AFC Asian Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia. Due to FIFA regulations stating that confederation events can be hosted either in January or July, and July being peak summer heat in the Middle East, 2011 Asian Cup took place in January of that year.
The teams finishing first, second and third in the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, and the host nation for the 2011 competition, received automatic byes to the finals. They were joined by the top two finishers in each of five qualifying groups. The AFC Challenge Cup acted as a further qualification competition for eligible countries within the emerging and developing category of member associations. The winners of the AFC Challenge Cup competitions in 2008 and 2010 qualified automatically to the 2011 AFC Asian Cup finals. These two winners were India and North Korea. It was India's first play for the Asian Cup since 1984, and North Korea's first since 1992.
The final day of qualification was 3 March 2010.
List of qualified teams
|Country||Qualified as||Date qualification was secured||Previous appearances in tournament1, 2|
|Qatar||Hosts||29 July 2007||7 (1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2007)|
|Iraq||2007 AFC Asian Cup winner||25 July 2007||6 (1972, 1976, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007)|
|Saudi Arabia||2007 AFC Asian Cup runner-up||25 July 2007||7 (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007)|
|South Korea||2007 AFC Asian Cup third place||28 July 2007||11 (1956, 1960, 1964, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007)|
|India||2008 AFC Challenge Cup winner||13 August 2008||2 (1964, 1984)|
|Uzbekistan||Group C runner-up||18 November 2009||4 (1996, 2000, 2004, 2007)|
|Syria||Group D winner||18 November 2009||4 (1980, 1984, 1988, 1996)|
|Iran||Group E winner||6 January 2010||11 (1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007)|
|China PR||Group D runner-up||6 January 2010||9 (1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007)|
|Japan||Group A winner||6 January 2010||6 (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007)|
|Bahrain||Group A runner-up||6 January 2010||3 (1988, 2004, 2007)|
|United Arab Emirates||Group C winner||6 January 2010||7 (1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2007)|
|North Korea||2010 AFC Challenge Cup winner||27 February 2010||2 (1980, 1992)|
|Australia||Group B winner||3 March 2010||1 (2007)|
|Kuwait||Group B runner-up||3 March 2010||8 (1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004)|
|Jordan||Group E runner-up||3 March 2010||1 (2004)|
- 1 Bold indicates champion for that year
- 2 Italic indicates host
Seeding was announced on 22 April 2010. Qatar were automatically placed in Group A.
|Pot 1 (Host and Seeds)||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
Members of the AFC Organising Committee for AFC Asian Cup 2011 have agreed the use of five stadiums for the 2011 tournament.
|Khalifa International Stadium||Ahmed bin Ali Stadium||Thani bin Jassim Stadium|
|Capacity: 40,000||Capacity: 21,282||Capacity: 21,175|
|Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium||Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium|
|Capacity: 12,000||Capacity: 12,946|
The Nike Total 90 Tracer was the official match ball of the tournament.
Twelve referees and twenty four assistants were selected for the tournament:
|1||Ben Williams||Benjamin Wilson||Hakan Anaz|
|2||Yuichi Nishimura||Toru Sagara||Toshiyuki Nagi|
|3||Kim Dong-jin||Jeong Hae-sang||Jang Jun-mo|
|4||Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh||Mu Yuxin||Mohd Sabri Bin Mat Daud|
|5||Abdullah Al Hilali||Bakhadyr Kochkarov||Hamed Al Mayahi|
|6||Abdulrahman Abdou||Mohammad Dharman||Hassan Al Thawadi|
|7||Mohsen Torky||Hassan Kamranifar||Reza Sokhandan|
|8||Malik Abdul Bashir||Jeffrey Goh||Haja Maidin|
|9||Nawaf Shukralla||Khaled Al Allan||Mohammed Jawdat Nehlawi|
|10||Ali Al Badwawi||Saleh Al Marzouqi||Yaser Marad|
|11||Ravshan Irmatov||Abdukhamidullo Rasulov||Rafael Ilyasov|
- Standby Referees
Each country's final squad of 23 players was submitted by 28 December 2010.
All times are Arabian Standard Time (AST) – UTC+3
- 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;
- Kicks from the penalty mark 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 each yellow card, 3 points for each red card as a consequence of two yellow cards, 3 points for each direct red card, 4 points for each yellow card followed by a direct red card)
- Drawing of lots.
|1||Uzbekistan||3||2||1||0||6||3||+3||7||Advance to knockout stage|
|7 January 2011|
|8 January 2011|
|12 January 2011|
|16 January 2011|
|1||Japan||3||2||1||0||8||2||+6||7||Advance to knockout stage|
|9 January 2011|
|13 January 2011|
|17 January 2011|
|1||Australia||3||2||1||0||6||1||+5||7||Advance to knockout stage|
|10 January 2011|
|14 January 2011|
|18 January 2011|
|1||Iran||3||3||0||0||6||1||+5||9||Advance to knockout stage|
|4||United Arab Emirates||3||0||1||2||0||4||−4||1|
|11 January 2011|
|North Korea||0–0||United Arab Emirates|
|15 January 2011|
|United Arab Emirates||0–1||Iraq|
|19 January 2011|
|United Arab Emirates||0–3||Iran|
|21 January – Doha|
|25 January – Doha|
|22 January – Doha|
|29 January – Doha|
|21 January – Doha|
|25 January – Doha|
|Japan (pen.)||2 (3)|
|22 January – Doha|
|South Korea||2 (0)||Third place|
|28 January – Doha|
|South Korea (a.e.t.)||1|
All times are Arabian Standard Time (AST) – UTC+3
|Kagawa 29', 71'
Fábio César 63'
|Bakayev 47', 49'||Report||B. Bani Yaseen 58'|
|Iran||0–1 (a.e.t.)||South Korea|
|Report||Yoon Bit-garam 105'|
|Japan||2–2 (a.e.t.)||South Korea|
|Report[permanent dead link]||Ki Sung-yueng 23' (pen.)
Hwang Jae-won 120'
|3–0|| Koo Ja-cheol
Third place playoff
|Geynrikh 45' (pen.), 53'||Report||Koo Ja-cheol 18'
Ji Dong-won 28', 39'
With five goals, Koo Ja-cheol was the top scorer in the tournament. In total, 90 goals were scored by 60 different players, with three of them credited as own goals.
1 own goal:
2 own goals:
The AFC selected the MVP, top goalscorer, fair play award and four quality players of the tournament. They didn't officially announce the all-star team in this tournament.
Most Valuable Player
Fair Play Award
|Eliminated in the quarter-finals|
|Eliminated in group stage|
|13||United Arab Emirates||D||3||0||1||2||1||0||4||-4|
For marketing of the event, the organisers opted for the slogan "Yalla Asia" with a song sung by international artists Jay Sean and Karl Wolf, featuring Radhika Vekaria. Yalla Asia was composed and written by Radhika Vekaria, Max Herman and Zoulikha El Fassi. Max Herman produced the record for Zoul Projects 2011.
Concerns and controversies
The AFC Asian Cup 2011 was not without controversy as concerns were risen about the extremely low crowds at most Asian Cup games not featuring the host nation Qatar. The average attendance was just 12,006, much lower than the previous AFC Asian Cup tournaments. North Korea and the United Arab Emirates both had the lowest attendance numbers with approximately 3,000 and 6,000 attendances respectively. The final match between Japan and Australia saw as many as 3,000 to 10,000 fans with valid tickets denied entry to the stadium which then allegedly sparked small skirmishes among fans, "It was just incredibly badly handled. There were kids and families, not causing any problem, being confronted by riot police and being told they weren't getting in," according to Andy Richardson, Al Jazeera's sports correspondent. The AFC stated that the gates were closed early for security concerns and organisers did not anticipate an influx of Japanese and Australian fans. The organising committee has offered to refund all tickets not redeemed at the match.
After staging the 2006 Asian Games, this Asian Cup was being closely watched as an indicator to see how Qatar copes with hosting a major international football tournament in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
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