Hopefuls set for 2024 AFC U23 Asian Cup – Qatar Qualifiers draw!

The qualifying journey for the 2024 AFC U23 Asian Cup – Qatar will be revealed on Thursday, May 25, 2023 when the official draw ceremony takes place at 3pm local time at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

A total of 43 teams have submitted their interest to compete in the Qualifiers for the sixth edition of the tournament, which will be held from September 4 to 12 this year.

The teams will be divided into 11 groups – 10 groups will comprise four teams each, with the last group to contain three. Each group will be played at a centralised venue in a single round-robin format, with the 11 group winners and four best second-placed teams among all groups qualifying for the 2024 AFC U23 Asian Cup – Qatar. They will join Qatar, who have received automatic qualification as Host, to form the final cast of 16 at the tournament, to be played between April 15 to May 3, 2024.

The seeding for the Draw will be based on the 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup – Uzbekistan rankings. Teams that did not participate have been added as the lowest-ranked teams; all matches involving Qatar will be considered as friendly matches and not taken into account when calculating the final group rankings. As such, Qatar will be considered as an unranked team for seeding purposes.

The 11 teams that will serve as Hosts – Bahrain, China, Indonesia, Jordan, South Korea, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam – will be placed into the same Pot and drawn into separate groups at the beginning of the Draw. The complete team rankings and Pot listings are as below:

Rankings

1-11: Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Japan, Australia, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, Jordan, United Arab Emirates
12-22: Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Tajikistan, Bahrain, Myanmar, Cambodia, Syria, India, Singapore, Indonesia
23-33: Kyrgyz Republic, Palestine, Yemen, Timor-Leste, Chinese Taipei, Lebanon, Laos, Bangladesh, Hong Kong – China, Maldives, Oman
34-35 + unranked: Mongolia, Philippines, Afghanistan, Brunei Darussalam, China, North Korea, Guam, Macau, Pakistan + Qatar

Pots

Pot 1: Japan, Australia, Iraq, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates
Pot 2: Islamic Republic of Iran, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Syria, India, Singapore
Pot 3: Kyrgyz Republic, Palestine, Yemen, Timor-Leste, Chinese Taipei, Lebanon, Laos, Bangladesh, Hong Kong – China, Maldives, Oman
Pot 4: Mongolia, Philippines, Afghanistan, Brunei Darussalam, North Korea, Guam, Macau, Pakistan, Qatar
Hosts Pot: Bahrain, China, Indonesia, Jordan, Korea Republic, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

Saudi Arabia won their maiden U-23 title in June last year after defeating hosts Uzbekistan in the final of an engrossing tournament that set new records in digital engagement.

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