The 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification was a qualification process organized by the AFC to determine the participating teams for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. The 2015 AFC Asian Cup, hosted by Australia, featured 16 teams.
In the initial scheme, ten places were determined by qualification matches, while six places were reserved for the following:
As the host nation Australia also finished as runners-up in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, the initial 6 automatic qualification spots were reduced to 5, with a total of 11 spots eventually determined by the qualification matches, in which 20 AFC members compete.
The preliminary draw was held in Melbourne on 9 October 2012, 18:00 UTC+11. The twenty teams involved in the qualifiers were drawn into five groups of four teams each, with each group containing one team from each of the following seeding pots. Each group was played on a home-and-away round-robin basis. The top two teams from each group and the best third-placed team from among all the groups qualified for the finals.
The following teams did not enter the main qualifying draw, as categorized as "emerging countries" they compete separately. The teams were eligible to qualify for the 2015 Asian Cup by winning either the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup or the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup.
The following matchdays have been assigned by the AFC for 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification. As 15 and 19 November 2013 are also the dates of the inter-confederation playoffs for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, a number of alternative matchdays have been allocated.
To determine the best third-placed team, the following criteria were used:
Number of points obtained in the group matches
Goal difference in the group matches
Greater number of goals scored in the group matches
Fewer points 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)
^ abThe Singapore v Oman and Syria v Jordan matches on Matchday 2 were rescheduled from the original date of 22 March 2013 on the request of the football associations of Oman and Jordan so that their respective national teams can prepare for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification AFC Fourth Round matches on 26 March 2013.
^ abcSyria played their home matches outside the country due to security concerns.