Doha: The stage is set for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 following the Official Draw at the Katara Opera House in Doha on Thursday.
The continental showpiece, scheduled for January 12 to February 10, 2024 promises to be a thrilling affair with seven former winners among the 24 teams – seeded in accordance with the latest FIFA World Ranking – divided into six groups.
Tournament hosts and defending champions Qatar are the top seeded team in Group A with their title defence to begin against two-time runners-up China PR, Tajikistan and Lebanon.
Group B will see 2015 champions Australia, Uzbekistan, Syria and India contesting for the knockout stage spots.
Three-time winners Islamic Republic of Iran, 1996 runners-up United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, China and Palestine will vie for the knockout stage spots in Group C while record four-time winners Japan, Indonesia, 2007 champions Iraq and Vietnam were drawn in Group D.
Twice champions Korea Republic, the top seeded team in Group E, will have Malaysia, Jordan and Bahrain to contend with while Group F will have three-time winners Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Kyrgyz Republic and Oman fighting for the knockout stage spots.
The top two sides from each group and the four best third-placed teams will advance to the Round of 16 at Qatar 2023.
Group A: Qatar, China PR, Tajikistan, Lebanon
Group B: Australia, Uzbekistan, Syria, India
Group C: IR Iran, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong China, Palestine
Group D: Japan, Indonesia, Iraq, Vietnam
Group E: Korea Republic, Malaysia, Jordan, Bahrain
Group F: Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Kyrgyz Republic, Oman