The AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup is set to return when the 16 participating teams learn of their opponents at the 2023 AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup in Thailand draw ceremony which will take place at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) House in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
The competition, last held in 2019, is set to make a comeback after being cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19 related challenges.
The top five seeded teams in the 2023 edition of the highly anticipated contest comprise hosts Thailand as the top seed, with three-time champions Japan and two-time winners United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the second and third places respectively, followed by Oman in the fourth place and Palestine in the fifth.
Team seedings were determined by the final ranking of the AFC Beach Soccer Championship Thailand 2019.
The champions, along with the runners-up and winner of the third-place tie will earn themselves places in the 2023 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Pot 1, containing the top four seeds, will thus be home to Thailand, defending champions Japan, 2019 finalists UAE and 2019 semifinalists Oman.
Pot 2, consisting of teams ranked between five and eight, will be host to fifth ranked Palestine, alongside two-time semifinalists Lebanon, two-time champions Iran, and champions of the inaugural edition of the competition, Bahrain .
Meanwhile, Pot 3 will include those teams who are ranked between nine and 12, namely 2017 hosts Malaysia and two-time semifinalists China who will be joined by Kuwait, and Afghanistan.
Finally, teams ranked 13 and below which include the Kyrgyz Republic, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan will be drawn from Pot 4.
Pot 1: Thailand, Japan, UAE, Oman
Pot 2: Palestine, Lebanon, Iran, Bahrain
Pot 3: Malaysia, China, Kuwait, Afghanistan
Pot 4: Kyrgyz Republic, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan