2019 AFC Asian Cup
|كأس آسيا 2019|
|Host country||United Arab Emirates|
|Dates||5 January – 1 February|
|Teams||24 (from 5 sub-confederations)|
|Venue(s)||8 (in 4 host cities)|
The 2019 AFC Asian Cup will be the 17th edition of the AFC Asian Cup, the quadrennial international men's football championship of Asia organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It will be held in the United Arab Emirates from 5 January to 1 February 2019.
The United Arab Emirates was announced as the host for the tournament on 9 March 2015, with Iran being the only remaining bidder for the right to host the 2019 finals. It will be the second time that the United Arab Emirates hosts the tournament after the 1996 finals.
For the first time, the Asian Cup final tournament will be contested by 24 teams, having been expanded from the 16-team format that was used from 2004 to 2015. Under this new format, the finalists will contest a group stage consisting of six groups of four teams, followed by a knockout stage of 16 teams. The host nation automatically qualified for the final tournament, while the remaining 23 places were determined among the other 45 national teams through a qualifying competition, running from March 2015 to March 2018, in which the first two rounds also served as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification process for the AFC.
Australia are the defending champions going into the tournament, having won the previous competition in 2015. The winner of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup will earn the right to participate in the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup which is to be hosted by a yet to be determined AFC association after 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts, Qatar, lost the rights. The 2021 Confederations Cup host country will have already qualified as hosts. If this country wins the Asian Cup, the runner-up will qualify.
- 1 Host selection
- 2 Teams
- 3 Draw
- 4 Squads
- 5 Venues
- 6 Format
- 7 Schedule
- 8 Group stage
- 9 Knockout stage
- 10 Marketing
- 11 Broadcasting
- 12 Concerns and controversies
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The bidding procedure and timeline for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup was approved at the AFC congress on 28 November 2012. The winning bid was originally set to be announced at an AFC congress in June, then November 2014. However, at its 60th Anniversary celebrations at the end of 2014, AFC gave the date of 'summer 2015' to when an announcement would be made.
In January 2015, AFC general secretary Alex Soosay said that Iran and the United Arab Emirates were the only two remaining bidders for the 2019 Asian Cup, and that the eventual hosts would be announced in March 2015.
The 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification process determined the 24 participating teams for the tournament. In 2014, a proposal to merge the preliminary qualification rounds of the FIFA World Cup with those of the AFC Asian Cup was ratified by the AFC Competitions Committee. The new qualification structure took place in three stages, with the first two merging with the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification. In the first round, the lowest ranked teams played home-and-away over two legs to reduce the total number of teams to 40. In the second round, the 40 teams were divided into eight groups of five to play home-and-away round-robin matches, where the eight group winners and the four best group runners-up qualified for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals. In the third round, the next best 24 teams eliminated from second round were divided into six groups of four and competed for the remaining slots of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. The first qualifying round of the qualification took place on 12 March 2015, and the final match of the third round took place on 27 March 2018.
India, Syria, Thailand and Turkmenistan qualified to the tournament after being absent in several Asian Cup tournaments spanning from 2004 to 2015. Lebanon and Vietnam both qualified for the first time after hosting the tournaments, in 2000 and 2007 respectively. For Vietnam, this was the first time they qualified for the AFC Asian Cup as a unified nation, having participated as South Vietnam in the first two editions (1956 and 1960), outside of hosting the 2007 edition. This was also the first time Yemen qualified for the AFC Asian Cup as a unified country, due to FIFA and AFC categorizing the participation of South Yemen in the 1976 as a distinct record not related to Yemen, whom succeeding North Yemen. In addition to Yemen, the Philippines and Kyrgyzstan also marked this edition as their first times to qualify for an Asian Cup.
Tajikistan, along with its fellow CAFA member nation Afghanistan, were the only two countries from their confederation who failed to qualify for the tournament. Iran qualified to the Asian Cup for the first time as a CAFA member, having qualified as part of the WAFF before. Malaysia and Indonesia were the only co-hosts of the 2007 edition that did not qualify for the Asian Cup, as Malaysia had ended their campaign in disaster with just one point out of six matches; while Indonesia was barred from entering the qualification due to tension inside the PSSI. Kuwait was the only Arab country not to qualify for the Asian Cup, as they were also barred from completing the qualification due to FIFA’s sanction. India remained as the only South Asian team to qualify for the tournament.
- 1 Bold indicates champion for that year. Italic indicates host for that year.
- 2 As South Vietnam
The draw of the final tournament was held on 4 May 2018, 19:30 GST, at the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The FIFA rankings of April 2018 were used as basis for the seeding. The 12 teams that secured their place in the final tournament by the end of the second round of the qualification process were placed in Pots 1 and 2 while the remaining teams which qualified during the third round were allocated to the remaining pots. As hosts, the United Arab Emirates were seeded into Pot 1. The 24 teams were drawn into six groups of four teams, with the hosts placed in position A1. Four renowned Asian players: Ali Daei, Sun Jihai, Sunil Chhetri and Phil Younghusband were chosen for the seeds.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
Teams were drawn consecutively into Group A to F. Unlike the UEFA Euro 2016 pot seeding, teams from each Pots in the AFC Asian Cup were assigned to the positions of their groups following by number orders of group stage, for example Pot 1 team were assigned to A1, and continued.
The draw resulted in the following groups:
Each team must register a squad of minimum 18 players and maximum 23 players, minimum three of whom must be goalkeepers.
Initially, after being awarded as host of the 2019 edition, the UAE had intended to finalize the number of stadiums into six, to serve for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. Among six first stadiums, four stadiums went undisputed: Zayed Sports City Stadium and Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium and Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, with Al Ahli Stadium and DSC Stadium in Dubai. Later, two stadiums in Dubai were dropped due to financial problems and were replaced by Al-Maktoum Stadium and Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium also in Dubai.
In 2015, following the event of 2015 AFC Asian Cup, the AFC agreed to increase the number of teams from 16 to 24 after the UEFA Euro 2016 opted the same plan few years ago which was materialized. Hence, several new stadiums were about to be chosen and being rebuilt, in which Sharjah and Abu Dhabi won the rights to have two more stadiums serving the tournament. Sharjah Stadium and Al Nahyan Stadium were chosen aftermath, finalized the number of stadium to eight.
The eight venues to host matches are Zayed Sports City Stadium, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium and Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium and Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, Al-Maktoum Stadium and Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, and Sharjah Stadium in Sharjah.
|Zayed Sports City Stadium||Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium||Al Nahyan Stadium|
|Capacity: 43,620 (under expansion)||Capacity: 42,056 (under expansion)||Capacity: 12,000 (under expansion)|
|Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium|
|Capacity: 12,000 (under expansion)|
|Capacity: 12,000 (under expansion)|
|Hazza bin Zayed Stadium||Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium||Sharjah Stadium|
|Capacity: 25,965 (under expansion)||Capacity: 16,000 (under expansion)||Capacity: 11,073 (under expansion)|
The tournament was expanded to 24 teams from the previous format of 16 teams, which had been used since 2004. Only the hosts will receive an automatic qualification spot, while the other 23 teams will qualify through a qualification tournament. At the finals, the 24 teams will be drawn into six groups of four teams each. The teams in each group play a single round robin. After the group stage, the top two teams and the four best third teams will advance to the knockout stage, beginning with the round of 16. For the first time since a knockout stage was added to the competition in 1972, there will be no third place play-off. The format is exactly the one which was applied to UEFA Euro 2016, and is similar to the format of the 1986, 1990, and 1994 FIFA World Cups, except that the World Cup included a third place play-off.
The AFC announced the official match schedule on 7 May 2018. Zayed Sports City Stadium, one of three stadiums in Abu Dhabi, will stage both the opening match and the final. The match schedule itself will maximise the use of venues. At least five matches will be allocated to each venue, with every ground hosting at least one match in the knockout stage. The semi-finals will be played on different days in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. No city will host two matches on the same day – except in the final round of group stage matches when simultaneous kick-off is required.
The top two teams of each group and the four best third-placed teams advance to the round of 16.
Teams are ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss), and if tied on points, the following tiebreaking criteria are applied, in the order given, to determine the rankings:
- Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
- Goal difference in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
- Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
- If more than two teams are tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, a subset of teams are still tied, all head-to-head criteria above are reapplied exclusively to this subset of teams;
- Goal difference in all group matches;
- Goals scored in all group matches;
- Penalty shoot-out if only two teams are tied and they met in the last round of the group;
- Disciplinary points (yellow card = 1 point, red card as a result of two yellow cards = 3 points, direct red card = 3 points, yellow card followed by direct red card = 4 points);
- Drawing of lots.
|1||United Arab Emirates (H)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advance to knockout stage|
|3||India||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Possible knockout stage based on ranking|
|1||Australia||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advance to knockout stage|
|3||Palestine||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Possible knockout stage based on ranking|
|1||South Korea||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advance to knockout stage|
|3||Kyrgyzstan||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Possible knockout stage based on ranking|
|1||Iran||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advance to knockout stage|
|3||Vietnam||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Possible knockout stage based on ranking|
|1||Saudi Arabia||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advance to knockout stage|
|3||Lebanon||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Possible knockout stage based on ranking|
|1||Japan||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advance to knockout stage|
|3||Oman||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Possible knockout stage based on ranking|
Ranking of third-placed teams
|1||A||Third place Group A||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advance to knockout stage|
|2||B||Third place Group B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|3||C||Third place Group C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|4||D||Third place Group D||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|5||E||Third place Group E||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|6||F||Third place Group F||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored; 4) Disciplinary points; 5) Drawing of lots.
The specific match-ups involving the third-placed teams depend on which four third-placed teams qualified for the round of 16:
qualify from groups
|Round of 16||Quarter-finals||Semi-finals||Final|
|20 January – Hazza bin Zayed|
|Runner-up Group A|
|24 January – Mohammed bin Zayed|
|Runner-up Group C|
|Winner Match 38|
|20 January – Mohammed bin Zayed|
|Winner Match 39|
|Winner Group D|
|28 January – Hazza bin Zayed|
|3rd Group B/E/F|
|Winner Match 46|
|20 January – Al-Maktoum|
|Winner Match 45|
|Winner Group B|
|24 January – Al-Maktoum|
|3rd Group A/C/D|
|Winner Match 37|
|21 January – Sharjah|
|Winner Match 40|
|Winner Group F|
|1 February – Zayed Sports City|
|Runner-up Group E|
|Winner Match 49|
|22 January – Maktoum bin Rashid|
|Winner Match 50|
|Winner Group C|
|25 January – Zayed Sports City|
|3rd Group A/B/F|
|Winner Match 43|
|22 January – Al Nahyan|
|Winner Match 44|
|Winner Group E|
|29 January – Mohammed bin Zayed|
|Runner-up Group D|
|Winner Match 47|
|21 January – Zayed Sports City|
|Winner Match 48|
|Winner Group A|
|25 January – Hazza bin Zayed|
|3rd Group C/D/E|
|Winner Match 42|
|21 January – Sheikh Khalifa|
|Winner Match 41|
|Runner-up Group B|
|Runner-up Group F|
Round of 16
Logo and slogan
The official logo of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup was unveiled on 23 January 2017 in Abu Dhabi during the drawing ceremony for the third round of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification. The colors used in the logo were derived from the flag of the UAE. The seven hexagons formed by colored ribbons represents the seven emirates of the host country. The interlacing hexagon pattern of the logo was inspired from Islamic art, as well as the old Emirati tradition of using palm leaves, locally known as saf, in weaving. The outer circle along with the geometric design within it symbolizes the sport of football.
The slogan "Bringing Asia Together" (Arabic: "جمع آسيا معاً") was unveiled on 5 January 2018 with one year to go.
During the final draw on 4 May 2018, two mascots, Mansour and Jarrah, were unveiled. Mansour is a typical Arab football kid with lightning speed, while Jarrah is an Arabian falcon.
Total prize money pool for the tournament is 14,800,000 USD. The champions will receive USD$5 million, the runners-up will receive USD$3 million, and the losing semi-finalists will receive USD$1 million. All 24 participating teams will also receive USD$200,000.
The tournament was broadcast live by around 80 TV channels covering the whole world. 800 million 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 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
Concerns and controversies
Poor attendance records have been seen as a problem for the UAE, but Asian Cup officials are confident the tournament will attract significant numbers.
- "AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 stadiums and match dates confirmed". the-afc.com.
- "Asian Cup: Australia backed as future World Cup host by AFC general secretary". abc.net.au. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "ExCo approves expanded AFC Asian Cup finals". AFC. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "AFC Asian Cup 2019 Competition Regulations". AFC.
- "FIFA will move 2021 Confederations Cup from Qatar to different Asian country". mlssoccer.com. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- "Maldives to host 2014 AFC Challenge Cup". AFC. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- "New 60,000 stadium to be built in Dubai Sports City as part of 2019 Asian Cup bid". Arabian Industry.com. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
- "Decision on next Asian Cup hosts unlikely before mid-2015". Yahoo! Eurosport UK. 29 November 2014.
- "United Arab Emirates to host 2019 AFC Asian Cup". the-afc.com. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
- "AFC Competitions Committee meeting". Asian Football Confederation. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
- "AFC Calendar of Competitions 2015" (PDF). AFC.
- "AFC Calendar of Competitions 2016–2018" (PDF). AFC.
- "AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Draw". AFC.
- "Draw sets stage for exciting AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019". AFC. 4 May 2018.
- "Seedings confirmed for UAE 2019 draw". Asian Football Confederation. 12 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "AFC Asian Cup 2019: Constantine confident of progressing to knock-out stage". Goal. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
- "AFC ASIAN CUP UAE 2019 STADIUMS AND MATCH DATES CONFIRMED". the-afc.com. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- "Spotlight on the classic games at UAE 2019". AFC. 7 May 2018.
- "AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019's thrilling openers". AFC. 7 May 2018.
- "Match Schedule – AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019" (PDF). the-afc.com. Asian Football Confederation. 7 May 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- "Official Draw for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers Final Round and Logo Unveil Takes Place in Abu Dhabi". Yahoo!. PR Newswire. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ Logo Revealed". Asian Football Confederation. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "AFC appoints world-leading ball manufacturer Molten as official match ball supplier". Asian Football Confederation. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- "Mansour and Jarrah unveiled as official mascots for AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019". AFC. 4 May 2018.
- "Dazzling new AFC Asian Cup trophy unveiled in Dubai". AFC. 4 May 2018.
- "AFC Asian cup 2019 prize money". Sportsmirchi.
- "Prize money to increase stakes at AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019". AFC. 4 May 2018.
- "Official broadcasters". afcasiancup.com. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
- "Publicity blitz set to boost Asian Cup attendances". theworldgame.sbs.com.au. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "Sydney and Newcastle to host 10 countries in AFC Asian Cup pool matches". destinationnsw.com.au. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "ABC, FOX SPORTS, Asian Cup LOC and FFA announce deal for free to air broadcast of Asian Cup Football". abc.net.au. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- "Channels Telecasting Asian Cup 2015". tsmplay.com. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- "UAE awarded hosting rights for 2019 Asian Cup". thenational.ae. 9 March 2015.