AFC President Congratulates Asian Teams

AFC President congratulates Asian teams as AFC Asian Cup 2023™ cast finalised

Asian Cup.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has congratulated the 11 Asian sides who sealed their places at the Continent's pinnacle national team stage following the conclusion of the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round on Tuesday.

The road to the 18th edition of Asia's crown jewel commenced on June 6, 2019, in Mongolia and Tuesday's thrilling action, which culminated in Kuwait, brought to a close a qualification journey spanning more than three years.

A total of 24 teams battled in 36 matches over three Match Days in six centralised venues as Bahrain, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Palestine, Tajikistan, Thailand and Uzbekistan confirmed their passage to the Continent's showpiece.

Shaikh Salman said: "On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to congratulate our final 11 Participating Member Associations on clinching their places in the AFC Asian Cup 2023™.

"There is no doubt that these qualifiers will be remembered as the most challenging in Asian football history and our ability to rise above adversity is a tribute to the resilience and solidarity of our Member Associations."

The COVID-19 pandemic had restricted the second round of the AFC Asian Qualifiers™ to just four matches from November 2019 to May 2021 but after careful and considerate planning, 57 matches were played over 19 days across seven centralised venues, which concluded on June 15, 2021, marking yet another clear sign of the recovery of Asian football.

The AFC President added: "We must also extend our heartfelt gratitude to the six centralised host Member Associations for successfully staging the final round of the qualifiers, as well as the seven centralised hosts of the preceding round held last year.

"Now we shift our attention towards confirming the stage for the Continent's most prestigious tournament and I have no doubts that the same spirit of Asian football unity will shine through as we finalise the host for the 2023 edition."

The 11 qualified teams have joined 2015 champions Australia, China PR, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, four-time champions Japan, Korea Republic, Lebanon, Oman, defending champions Qatar, three-time title holders Saudi Arabia, Syria and the United Arab Emirates as well as Vietnam in the Finals.

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