2019 AFC Asian Cup

Last updated

2019 AFC Asian Cup
كأس آسيا 2019
2019 AFC Asian Cup logo.svg
Tournament details
Host countryUnited Arab Emirates
Dates5 January – 1 February
Teams24 (from 1 confederation)
Venue(s)8 (in 4 host cities)
Final positions
ChampionsFlag of Qatar.svg  Qatar (1st title)
Runners-upFlag of Japan.svg  Japan
Tournament statistics
Matches played51
Goals scored130 (2.55 per match)
Attendance644,307 (12,633 per match)
Top scorer(s) Flag of Qatar.svg Almoez Ali (9 goals) [1]
Best player(s) Flag of Qatar.svg Almoez Ali [1]
Best goalkeeper Flag of Qatar.svg Saad Al Sheeb [2]
Fair play awardFlag of Japan.svg  Japan [3]
2015
2023

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup was 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 was held in the United Arab Emirates from 5 January to 1 February 2019. [4] The tournament was won for the first time by Qatar, who defeated Japan 3–1 in the final. This was also Qatar's first ever top 4 finish in the competition. Australia, the defending champions, were eliminated by the hosts at the quarter-final stages, while the hosts themselves lost to the eventual champions in the semi-finals.

AFC Asian Cup international association football tournament run by the Asian Football Confederation

The AFC Asian Cup is an international association football tournament run by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It is the second oldest continental football championship in the world after Copa América. The winning team becomes the champion of Asia and qualifies for the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Association football team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Asian Football Confederation governing body of association football in Asia

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of association football in Asia and Australia. It has 47 member countries, mostly located on the Asian and Australian continent, but excludes the transcontinental countries with territory in both Europe and Asia – Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkey – which are instead members of UEFA. Three other states located geographically along the western fringe of Asia – Cyprus, Armenia and Israel – are also UEFA members. On the other hand, Australia, formerly in the OFC, joined the Asian Football Confederation in 2006, and the Oceanian island of Guam, a territory of the United States, is also a member of AFC, in addition to Northern Mariana Islands, one of the Two Commonwealths of the United States. Hong Kong and Macau, although not independent countries, are also members of the AFC.

Contents

For the first time, the Asian Cup final tournament was contested by 24 teams, having been expanded from the 16-team format that was used from 2004 to 2015. [5] Under this new format, the finalists would contest a group stage consisting of six groups of four teams, followed by a knockout stage of 16 teams. [6] The host nation qualified for the final tournament automatically, while the remaining 23 places were determined among the other 45 national teams of the AFC through a qualifying competition running from 2015 to 2018, part of which also served as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification process for the confederation.

2004 AFC Asian Cup football tournament

The 2004 AFC Asian Cup was the 13th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It was held from 17 July to 7 August 2004 in China. The defending champions Japan defeated China in the final in Beijing.

2015 AFC Asian Cup

The 2015 AFC Asian Cup was the 16th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It was held in Australia from 9 to 31 January 2015. The tournament was won by Australia after defeating South Korea 2–1 in extra time in the final, thereby earning the right to participate in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, which was hosted by Russia. The win was Australia's first Asian title since their move from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006. It was also the first time a men's team has become champions of two confederations, following Australia's four OFC Nations Cup titles: 1980, 1996, 2000 and 2004; right after the Australian women's team won the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup.

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification was the qualification process organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to determine the participating teams for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, the 17th edition of the international men's football championship of Asia. For the first time, the Asian Cup final tournament was contested by 24 teams, having been expanded from the 16-team format that was used from 2004 to 2015.

With the victory, Qatar regained the right to participate in the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup, after they had initially qualified automatically as hosts but then lost the hosting rights. [7]

The 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup is scheduled to be the 11th edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup, a quadrennial international men's football tournament organized by FIFA. It is expected to be held in 2021, as a prelude to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Germany are the title holders, having won the previous edition of the Confederations Cup in 2017.

Host selection

The bidding procedure and timeline for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup was approved at the AFC congress on 28 November 2012. [8] The winning bid was originally set to be announced at an AFC congress in June, then November 2014. [9] 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. [10]

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. [11]

On 9 March 2015, during an AFC Executive Committee meeting in Manama, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates was announced as the host. [12] This was the second time the country hosted the tournament, after the 1996 edition.

Manama City in Capital, Bahrain

Manama is the capital and largest city of Bahrain, with an approximate population of 157,000 people. Long an important trading center in the Persian Gulf, Manama is home to a very diverse population. After periods of Portuguese and Persian control and invasions from the ruling dynasties of Saudi Arabia and Oman, Bahrain established itself as an independent nation during the 19th century period of British hegemony.

Bahrain Sovereign island state in the Persian Gulf

Bahrain, officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, is an island country in the Persian Gulf. The sovereign state comprises a small archipelago centered around Bahrain Island, situated between the Qatar peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, to which it is connected by the 25-kilometre (16 mi) King Fahd Causeway. Bahrain's population is 1,234,571, including 666,172 non-nationals. It is 765.3 square kilometres (295.5 sq mi) in size, making it the third-smallest nation in Asia after the Maldives and Singapore.

1996 AFC Asian Cup football tournament

The 1996 AFC Asian Cup was the 11th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The finals were held in the United Arab Emirates between 4 and 21 December 1996. Saudi Arabia defeated hosts United Arab Emirates in the final match in Abu Dhabi. As the runners-up, the United Arab Emirates represented the AFC in the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup as the winners Saudi Arabia had qualified automatically as host.

Teams

Qualified for Asian Cup
Failed to qualify
Disqualified or withdrew
Not an AFC member 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying map.png
  Qualified for Asian Cup
  Failed to qualify
  Disqualified or withdrew
  Not an AFC member

Qualification

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. [5] The new qualification structure took place in three stages, with the first two merging with the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification. [5] 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. [13] 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. [14] [15]

Qualified teams

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, who succeeded 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 which led to FIFA suspension. 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. On 13 November 2018 Asian Football Confederation warned the Iranian government to stop meddling in the country's football association, otherwise it may face sanctions before Asian cup games start in January. [16]

The following 24 teams qualified for the final tournament:

TeamMethod of
qualification
Date of
qualification
Finals
appearance
Last
appearance
Previous best
performance
December 2018
FIFA ranking
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates Hosts9 March 201510th 2015 Runners-up (1996)79
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar Second Round Group C winners17 November 201510th 2015 Quarter-finals (2000, 2011)93
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Second Round Group G winners13 January 201614th 2015 Winners (1956, 1960)53
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan Second Round Group E winners24 March 20169th 2015 Winners (1992, 2000, 2004, 2011)50
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand Second Round Group F winners24 March 20167th 2007 Third place (1972)118
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia Second Round Group A winners24 March 201610th 2015 Winners (1984, 1988, 1996)69
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Second Round Group B winners29 March 20164th 2015 Winners (2015)41
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan Second Round Group H winners29 March 20167th 2015 Fourth place (2011)95
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran Second Round Group D winners29 March 201614th 2015 Winners (1968, 1972, 1976)29
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria Second Round Group E runners-up29 March 20166th 2011 Group stage (1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2011)74
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq Second Round Group F runners-up29 March 20169th 2015 Winners (2007)88
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR Second Round Group C runners-up29 March 201612th 2015 Runners-up (1984, 2004)76
Flag of Palestine.svg  Palestine Third Round Group D runners-up10 October 20172nd 2015 Group stage (2015)99
Flag of Oman.svg  Oman Third Round Group D winners10 October 20174th 2015 Group stage (2004, 2007, 2015)82
Flag of India.svg  India Third Round Group A winners11 October 20174th 2011 Runners-up (1964)97
Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon Third Round Group B winners10 November 20172nd 2000 Group stage (2000)81
Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan Third Round Group E runners-up14 November 20172nd 2004 Group stage (2004)127
Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan Third Round Group C winners14 November 20174th 2015 Quarter-finals (2004, 2011)109
Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain Third Round Group E winners14 November 20176th 2015 Fourth place (2004)113
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam Third Round Group C runners-up14 November 20174th 2007 Fourth place (1956 1 , 1960 1 )100
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan Third Round Group A runners-up22 March 20181stDebutNone91
Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea Third Round Group B runners-up27 March 20185th 2015 Fourth place (1980)109
Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines Third Round Group F winners27 March 20181stDebutNone116
Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen Third Round Group F runners-up27 March 20181st 2 DebutNone135
2 Yemen once qualified to the 1976 AFC Asian Cup as South Yemen, but according to FIFA and the AFC, the previous records of Yemen are registered as North Yemen instead.

Draw

Burj Khalifa, the location of the final draw Burj Khalifa.jpg
Burj Khalifa, the location of the final draw

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. [17] [18] 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. [19] Four renowned Asian players: Ali Daei, Sun Jihai, Sunil Chhetri and Phil Younghusband were chosen to draw the teams. [20]

Pot 1Pot 2Pot 3Pot 4

Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates (81) (hosts)
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran (36)
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia (40)
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan (60)
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea (61)
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia (70)

Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR (73)
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria (76)
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan (88)
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq (88)
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar (101)
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand (122)

Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan (75)
Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon (82)
Flag of Palestine.svg  Palestine (83)
Flag of Oman.svg  Oman (87)
Flag of India.svg  India (97)
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam (103)

Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea (112)
Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines (113)
Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain (116)
Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan (117)
Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen (125)
Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan (129)

Final draw

Teams were drawn consecutively into Group A to F. Teams from each pot 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:

Group A
PosTeam
A1Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates
A2Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand
A3Flag of India.svg  India
A4Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain
Group B
PosTeam
B1Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
B2Flag of Syria.svg  Syria
B3Flag of Palestine.svg  Palestine
B4Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan
Group C
PosTeam
C1Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea
C2Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR
C3Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan
C4Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines
Group D
PosTeam
D1Flag of Iran.svg  Iran
D2Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq
D3Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam
D4Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen
Group E
PosTeam
E1Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia
E2Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar
E3Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon
E4Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea
Group F
PosTeam
F1Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
F2Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan
F3Flag of Oman.svg  Oman
F4Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan

Match officials

Referee César Arturo Ramos reviewing a play using Video assistant referee during a semi-final match between Qatar and UAE. QAT-UAE 20190129 Asian Cup 14.jpg
Referee César Arturo Ramos reviewing a play using Video assistant referee during a semi-final match between Qatar and UAE.

On 5 December 2018, the AFC announced the list of 30 referees, 30 assistant referees, two stand-by referees and two stand-by assistant referees, including one referee and two assistant referees from CONCACAF for the tournament. [21] [22] Video assistant referees (VAR) would be used from the quarter-finals onwards. [23] In each match, the referee and his assistants were accompanied by two additional assistant referees stationed next to each team's goalpost.

Referees
Assistant referees
Video assistant referees
Stand-by referees
Stand-by assistant referees

Squads

Each team must register a squad of minimum 18 players and maximum 23 players, minimum three of whom must be goalkeepers. [6]

Venues

After being awarded the bid, initially the UAE chose six stadiums to host the tournament. The six stadiums were Zayed Sports City Stadium and Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium and Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, and Dubai's Al Ahli Stadium and DSC Stadium. Later, two stadiums in Dubai were dropped due to financial problems and were replaced by Al Maktoum Stadium and Rashid Stadium, which were also located in Dubai.

After the 2015 Asian Cup, the AFC agreed to increase the number of teams from 16 to 24, following the UEFA Euro 2016. Hence, more stadiums were about to be chosen and rebuilt, in which Sharjah and Abu Dhabi won the rights to have more stadiums for the tournament. Sharjah Stadium and Al Nahyan Stadium were chosen aftermath, finalized the number of stadium to eight.

The eight venues used 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 Rashid Stadium in Dubai, and Sharjah Stadium in Sharjah. [24]

Abu Dhabi
Zayed Sports City Stadium Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium Al Nahyan Stadium
Capacity: 43,206 [25] (expanded)Capacity: 37,500 [25] Capacity: 12,201 (expanded)
Abu Dhabi Zayed Sports City Stadium 3.jpg IRN-YMN 20190107 Asian Cup 4.jpg IRN-VIETNAM 20190112 Asian Cup 2.jpg
Dubai
Rashid Stadium
Capacity: 12,000 [25] (expanded)
Rashid Stadium.jpg
Dubai
Al Maktoum Stadium
Capacity: 15,058 (renovated)
THA-BHR 20190110 Asian Cup 4.jpg
Al Ain Sharjah
Hazza bin Zayed Stadium Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium Sharjah Stadium
Capacity: 25,053 [25] Capacity: 12,000 [25] Capacity: 12,000 [25]
IRN-JPN 20190128 01.jpg Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium.jpg Sharjah Stadium.jpg

Format

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.

Schedule

Opening ceremony before first group match. 2019 AFC Asian Cup opening ceremony 1.jpg
Opening ceremony before first group match.

The AFC announced the official match schedule on 7 May 2018. [26] [27] Zayed Sports City Stadium, one of three stadiums in Abu Dhabi, staged both the opening match and the final. At least five matches were allocated to each venue, with every ground hosting at least one match in the knockout stage. The semi-finals were played on different days in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. No city hosted two matches on the same day – except in the final round of group stage matches when simultaneous kick-off is required.

Group stage

The top two teams of each group and the four best third-placed teams advanced to the round of 16.

All times are local, GST (UTC+4). [28]

Tiebreakers

Teams were 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 were applied, in the order given, to determine the rankings: [6]

  1. Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  2. Goal difference in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  3. Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  4. If more than two teams were tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, a subset of teams were still tied, all head-to-head criteria above were reapplied exclusively to this subset of teams;
  5. Goal difference in all group matches;
  6. Goals scored in all group matches;
  7. Penalty shoot-out if only two teams were tied and they met in the last round of the group;
  8. 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);
  9. Drawing of lots.

Group A

Zayed Sports City Stadium during the India vs United Arab Emirates match. 2019 AFC UAE vs India.jpg
Zayed Sports City Stadium during the India vs United Arab Emirates match.
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates (H)312042+25Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand 31113524 [lower-alpha 1]
3Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain 31112204 [lower-alpha 1]
4Flag of India.svg  India 31024403
Source: AFC
(H) Host.
Notes:
  1. 1 2 Head-to-head points: Thailand 3, Bahrain 0.
United Arab Emirates  Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg 1–1 Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain
Report
Thailand  Flag of Thailand.svg 1–4 Flag of India.svg  India
Report
Al Nahyan Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Attendance: 3,250
Referee: Liu Kwok Man (Hong Kong)

Bahrain  Flag of Bahrain.svg 0–1 Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand
Report
Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai
Attendance: 2,720
Referee: Chris Beath (Australia)
India  Flag of India.svg 0–2 Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates
Report

United Arab Emirates  Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg 1–1 Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand
Report
Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
Attendance: 17,809
Referee: Ryuji Sato (Japan)
India  Flag of India.svg 0–1 Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain
Report
Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah
Attendance: 11,417
Referee: Ilgiz Tantashev (Uzbekistan)

Group B

Player greetings prior to kickoff of Australia vs. Syria AUS-SYR 20190116 Asian Cup 13.jpg
Player greetings prior to kickoff of Australia vs. Syria
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan 321030+37Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 320163+36
3Flag of Palestine.svg  Palestine 30210332
4Flag of Syria.svg  Syria 30122531
Source: AFC
Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg 0–1 Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan
Report
Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
Attendance: 4,934
Referee: Ahmed Al-Kaf (Oman)
Syria  Flag of Syria.svg 0–0 Flag of Palestine.svg  Palestine
Report
Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah
Attendance: 8,471
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)

Jordan  Flag of Jordan.svg 2–0 Flag of Syria.svg  Syria
Report
Palestine  Flag of Palestine.svg 0–3 Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Report
Rashid Stadium, Dubai
Attendance: 11,915
Referee: Valentin Kovalenko (Uzbekistan)

Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg 3–2 Flag of Syria.svg  Syria
Report
Palestine  Flag of Palestine.svg 0–0 Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan
Report

Group C

PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 330040+49Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR 320153+26
3Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan 31024403
4Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines 30031760
Source: AFC
China PR  Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg 2–1 Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan
Report
South Korea  Flag of South Korea.svg 1–0 Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines
Report
Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai
Attendance: 3,185
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain)

Philippines  Flag of the Philippines.svg 0–3 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR
Report
Kyrgyzstan  Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg 0–1 Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea
Report
Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
Attendance: 4,893
Referee: Khamis Al-Marri (Qatar)

South Korea  Flag of South Korea.svg 2–0 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR
Report
Kyrgyzstan  Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg 3–1 Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines
  • Lux Soccerball shade.svg 24', 51', 77'
Report
Rashid Stadium, Dubai
Attendance: 4,217
Referee: Turki Al-Khudhayr (Saudi Arabia)

Group D

Iran national team entering the Al Maktoum Stadium during Iran vs. Iraq match. IRN-IRQ 20190116 Asian Cup 6.jpg
Iran national team entering the Al Maktoum Stadium during Iran vs. Iraq match.
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 321070+77Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 321062+47
3Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam 31024513
4Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen 3003010100
Source: AFC
Iran  Flag of Iran.svg 5–0 Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen
Report
Iraq  Flag of Iraq.svg 3–2 Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam
Report

Vietnam  Flag of Vietnam.svg 0–2 Flag of Iran.svg  Iran
Report
Al Nahyan Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Attendance: 10,841
Referee: Muhammad Taqi (Singapore)
Yemen  Flag of Yemen.svg 0–3 Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq
Report
Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah
Attendance: 9,757
Referee: Fu Ming (China PR)

Vietnam  Flag of Vietnam.svg 2–0 Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen
Report
Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
Attendance: 8,237
Referee: Ahmed Al-Kaf (Oman)
Iran  Flag of Iran.svg 0–0 Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq
Report
Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai
Attendance: 15,038
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)

Group E

Lebanese fans during Lebanon vs. Saudi Arabia match. Lebanse fans 20191201.jpg
Lebanese fans during Lebanon vs. Saudi Arabia match.
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar 3300100+109Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 320162+46
3Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon 31024513
4Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea 3003114130
Source: AFC
Saudi Arabia  Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg 4–0 Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea
Report
Rashid Stadium, Dubai
Attendance: 5,075
Referee: Peter Green (Australia)
Qatar  Flag of Qatar.svg 2–0 Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon
Report
Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
Attendance: 7,847
Referee: Ma Ning (China PR)

Lebanon  Flag of Lebanon.svg 0–2 Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia
Report
Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai
Attendance: 13,792
Referee: Ali Sabah (Iraq)
North Korea  Flag of North Korea.svg 0–6 Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar
Report

Saudi Arabia  Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg 0–2 Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar
Report
  • Ali Soccerball shade.svg 45+1', 80'
Lebanon  Flag of Lebanon.svg 4–1 Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea
Report
Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah
Attendance: 4,332
Referee: Chris Beath (Australia)

Group F

Kickoff of Japan vs. Turkmenistan JPN-TUR 20190109 Asian Cup 6.jpg
Kickoff of Japan vs. Turkmenistan
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 330063+39Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan 320173+46
3Flag of Oman.svg  Oman 31024403
4Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan 300331070
Source: AFC
Japan  Flag of Japan.svg 3–2 Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan
Report
Al Nahyan Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Attendance: 5,725
Referee: Alireza Faghani (Iran)
Uzbekistan  Flag of Uzbekistan.svg 2–1 Flag of Oman.svg  Oman
Report
Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah
Attendance: 9,424
Referee: Ko Hyung-jin (South Korea)

Oman  Flag of Oman.svg 0–1 Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Report
Turkmenistan  Flag of Turkmenistan.svg 0–4 Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan
Report

Oman  Flag of Oman.svg 3–1 Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan
Report
Japan  Flag of Japan.svg 2–1 Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan
Report

Ranking of third-placed teams

PosGrpTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1 A Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain 31112204Advance to knockout stage
2 C Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan 31024403 [lower-alpha 1]
3 F Flag of Oman.svg  Oman 31024403 [lower-alpha 1]
4 D Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam 31024513 [lower-alpha 2]
5 E Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon 31024513 [lower-alpha 2]
6 B Flag of Palestine.svg  Palestine 30210332
Source: AFC
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored; 4) Disciplinary points; 5) Drawing of lots. [6]
Notes:
  1. 1 2 Disciplinary points: Kyrgyzstan −5, Oman −6.
  2. 1 2 Disciplinary points: Vietnam −5, Lebanon −7.

Knockout stage

Player lineup prior to Qatar vs. UAE kickoff. QAT-UAE 20190129 Asian Cup 10.jpg
Player lineup prior to Qatar vs. UAE kickoff.

In the knockout stage, extra time and penalty shoot-out were used to decide the winner if necessary. [6] A fourth substitution could be made during extra time. [29]

Bracket

 
Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
 
              
 
20 January – Hazza bin Zayed
 
 
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand 1
 
24 January – Mohammed bin Zayed
 
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR 2
 
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR 0
 
20 January – Mohammed bin Zayed
 
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 3
 
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 2
 
28 January – Hazza bin Zayed
 
Flag of Oman.svg  Oman 0
 
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 0
 
20 January – Al Maktoum
 
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 3
 
Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan 1 (2)
 
24 January – Al Maktoum
 
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam (p)1 (4)
 
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam 0
 
21 January – Sharjah
 
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 1
 
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 1
 
1 February – Zayed Sports City
 
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 0
 
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 1
 
22 January – Rashid
 
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar 3
 
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea (a.e.t.)2
 
25 January – Zayed Sports City
 
Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain 1
 
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 0
 
22 January – Al Nahyan
 
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar 1
 
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar 1
 
29 January – Mohammed bin Zayed
 
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 0
 
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar 4
 
21 January – Zayed Sports City
 
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates 0
 
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates (a.e.t.)3
 
25 January – Hazza bin Zayed
 
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan 2
 
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates 1
 
21 January – Khalifa bin Zayed
 
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 0
 
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia (p)0 (4)
 
 
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan 0 (2)
 

Round of 16


Thailand  Flag of Thailand.svg 1–2 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR
Report

Iran  Flag of Iran.svg 2–0 Flag of Oman.svg  Oman
Report

Japan  Flag of Japan.svg 1–0 Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia
Report
Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah
Attendance: 6,832
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)


United Arab Emirates  Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg 3–2 (a.e.t.)Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan
Report
Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Attendance: 17,784
Referee: Fu Ming (China PR)

South Korea  Flag of South Korea.svg 2–1 (a.e.t.)Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain
Report
Rashid Stadium, Dubai
Attendance: 7,658
Referee: Ryuji Sato (Japan)

Qatar  Flag of Qatar.svg 1–0 Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq
Report
Al Nahyan Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Attendance: 14,701
Referee: Muhammad Taqi (Singapore)

Quarter-finals

Vietnam  Flag of Vietnam.svg 0–1 Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Report

China PR  Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg 0–3 Flag of Iran.svg  Iran
Report

South Korea  Flag of South Korea.svg 0–1 Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar
Report

United Arab Emirates  Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg 1–0 Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Report
Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
Attendance: 25,053
Referee: Ryuji Sato (Japan)

Semi-finals

Iran  Flag of Iran.svg 0–3 Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Report
Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
Attendance: 23,262
Referee: Chris Beath (Australia)

Qatar  Flag of Qatar.svg 4–0 Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates
Report

Final

Japan  Flag of Japan.svg 1–3 Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar
Report

Statistics

Goalscorers

There were 130 goals scored in 51 matches, for an average of 2.55 goals per match.

9 goals

4 goals

3 goals

2 goals

1 goal

1 own goal

Discipline

A player was automatically suspended for the next match for the following offences: [6]

The following suspensions were served during the tournament:

PlayerOffence(s)Suspension(s)
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Zheng Zhi Red card.svg in Qualification vs Qatar (qualification; 5 September 2017) Group C vs Kyrgyzstan (matchday 1; 7 January)
Flag of Palestine.svg Mohammed Saleh Yellow card.svg Yellow-red card.svg in Group B vs Syria (matchday 1; 6 January) Group B vs Australia (matchday 2; 11 January)
Flag of North Korea.svg Han Kwang-song Yellow card.svg Yellow-red card.svg in Group E vs Saudi Arabia (matchday 1; 8 January) Group E vs Qatar (matchday 2; 13 January)
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Egor Krimets Red card.svg in Group F vs Oman (matchday 1; 9 January) Group F vs Turkmenistan (matchday 2; 13 January)
Flag of Thailand.svg Pansa Hemviboon Yellow card.svg in Group A vs India (matchday 1; 6 January)
Yellow card.svg in Group A vs Bahrain (matchday 2; 10 January)
Group A vs United Arab Emirates (matchday 3; 14 January)
Flag of Jordan.svg Musa Al-Taamari Yellow card.svg in Group B vs Australia (matchday 1; 6 January)
Yellow card.svg in Group B vs Syria (matchday 2; 10 January)
Group B vs Palestine (matchday 3; 15 January)
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Trent Sainsbury Yellow card.svg in Group B vs Jordan (matchday 1; 6 January)
Yellow card.svg in Group B vs Palestine (matchday 2; 11 January)
Group B vs Syria (matchday 3; 15 January)
Flag of Palestine.svg Jonathan Cantillana Yellow card.svg in Group B vs Syria (matchday 1; 6 January)
Yellow card.svg in Group B vs Australia (matchday 2; 11 January)
Group B vs Jordan (matchday 3; 15 January)
Flag of South Korea.svg Lee Yong Yellow card.svg in Group C vs Philippines (matchday 1; 7 January)
Yellow card.svg in Group C vs Kyrgyzstan (matchday 2; 11 January)
Group C vs China PR (matchday 3; 16 January)
Flag of Vietnam.svg Đỗ Duy Mạnh Yellow card.svg in Group D vs Iraq (matchday 1; 8 January)
Yellow card.svg in Group D vs Iran (matchday 2; 12 January)
Group D vs Yemen (matchday 3; 16 January)
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg Salem Al-Dawsari Yellow card.svg in Group E vs North Korea (matchday 1; 8 January)
Yellow card.svg in Group E vs Lebanon (matchday 2; 12 January)
Group E vs Qatar (matchday 3; 17 January)
Flag of North Korea.svg Ri Il-jin Yellow card.svg in Group E vs Saudi Arabia (matchday 1; 8 January)
Yellow card.svg in Group E vs Qatar (matchday 2; 13 January)
Group E vs Lebanon (matchday 3; 17 January)
Flag of North Korea.svg Jong Il-gwan Yellow card.svg Yellow-red card.svg in Group E vs Qatar (matchday 2; 13 January)
Flag of Thailand.svg Suphan Thongsong Yellow card.svg in Group A vs Bahrain (matchday 2; 10 January)
Yellow card.svg in Group A vs United Arab Emirates (matchday 3; 14 January)
Round of 16 vs China PR (20 January)
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Zhang Linpeng Yellow card.svg in Group C vs South Korea (matchday 3; 16 January)
Yellow card.svg in Round of 16 vs Thailand (20 January)
Quarter-final vs Iran (24 January)
Flag of Iran.svg Vahid Amiri Yellow card.svg in Group D vs Iraq (matchday 3; 16 January)
Yellow card.svg in Round of 16 vs Oman (20 January)
Quarter-final vs China PR (24 January)
Flag of Japan.svg Yoshinori Muto Yellow card.svg in Group F vs Uzbekistan (matchday 3; 17 January)
Yellow card.svg in Round of 16 vs Saudi Arabia (21 January)
Quarter-final vs Vietnam (24 January)
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Tom Rogic Yellow card.svg in Group B vs Palestine (matchday 2; 11 January)
Yellow card.svg in Round of 16 vs Uzbekistan (21 January)
Quarter-final vs United Arab Emirates (25 January)
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg Khamis Esmaeel Yellow card.svg in Group A vs Bahrain (matchday 1; 5 January)
Yellow card.svg in Round of 16 vs Kyrgyzstan (21 January)
Quarter-final vs Australia (25 January)
Flag of Qatar.svg Abdelkarim Hassan Yellow card.svg in Group E vs North Korea (matchday 2; 13 January)
Yellow card.svg in Round of 16 vs Iraq (22 January)
Quarter-final vs South Korea (25 January)
Flag of Qatar.svg Assim Madibo Yellow card.svg in Group E vs Saudi Arabia (matchday 3; 17 January)
Yellow card.svg in Round of 16 vs Iraq (22 January)
Flag of Iran.svg Mehdi Taremi Yellow card.svg in Group D vs Vietnam (matchday 2; 12 January)
Yellow card.svg in Quarter-final vs China PR (24 January)
Semi-final vs Japan (28 January)
Flag of Qatar.svg Abdulaziz Hatem Yellow card.svg in Group E vs Saudi Arabia (matchday 3; 17 January)
Yellow card.svg in Quarter-final vs South Korea (25 January)
Semi-final vs United Arab Emirates (29 January)
Flag of Qatar.svg Bassam Al-Rawi Yellow card.svg in Round of 16 vs Iraq (22 January)
Yellow card.svg in Quarter-final vs South Korea (25 January)

Marketing

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. [31] 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. [32]

The slogan "Bringing Asia Together" (Arabic : جمع آسيا معاً) was unveiled on 5 January 2018, a year before the tournament's kick-off.

Molten Acentec football used in the tournament. 2019 AFC Asian Cup ball, Molten Acentec.jpg
Molten Acentec football used in the tournament.

Match ball

The official match ball was provided by Molten Corporation. [33] According from the AFC, the match ball would be known as Molten Acentec. [34]

Mascots

During the final draw on 4 May 2018, two mascots, Mansour and Jarrah, were unveiled. Mansour is a typical Arab football kid, while Jarrah is an Arabian falcon with lightning speed. [35]

The new trophy, carried by Park Ji-sung. Qatar v Japan – AFC Asian Cup 2019 final 05.jpg
The new trophy, carried by Park Ji-sung.

Trophy

Also on the drawing day on 4 May 2018, an all new trophy made by Thomas Lyte was unveiled. It is 78 centimeters tall, 42 centimeters wide, and weighs 15 kilograms of silver. [36] The trophy is modeled over lotus flower, a symbolically important aquatic Asian plant. Five petals of the lotus symbolized the five sub-confederations under the AFC. [37] The winner names are engraved around the trophy base, which is separable from the trophy's main body.

Prize money

Total prize money pool for the tournament was US$14,800,000. [38] The champions would receive US$5 million, the runners-up will receive USD$3 million, and the losing semi-finalists would receive US$1 million. All 24 participating teams would also receive US$200,000. [39]

Team bus slogans

Iran national team bus Iran training before Iraq match 1.jpg
Iran national team bus

The tournament organizers held a competition where fans got to choose and vote on slogans to be used on the team buses of the 24 participating national teams. [40]

Broadcasting

The tournament was broadcast live by around 80 TV channels covering the whole world. 800 million people were expected to watch matches, [41] with the tournament reaching a potential TV audience of more than 2.5 billion people. [42] Below was the list of confirmed broadcasting right holders for 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

ESPN5 made a "competitive bid" to broadcast the tournament on free-to-air television in the Philippines, but it was not accepted by the AFC. [43] [44]

In the Middle East, where Qatar-based BeIN Sports has rights to broadcast the Asian Cup in the region, BeoutQ (allegedly backed by Saudi Arabia) also illegally broadcast the tournament as part of a proxy conflict in a diplomatic crisis between Qatar and various Arab states. The AFC has noted BeoutQ's broadcast and condemned it for "persistent and illegal screening". [45]

At the end of the tournament, AFC announced that the 2019 Asian Cup was the most engaging in history across all social platforms reaching 169.4 million impressions, an increase by more than fifteen times from the 11 million reach from 2015 AFC Asian Cup. [46]

Broadcast rights are sold by Lagardère Sports on behalf of the AFC. [45]

Country or TerritoryTelevision broadcaster(s)Online/streaming transmissionRef.
Middle East and North Africa BeIN Sports BeIN Sports Connect
Anglo America
DAZN [lower-alpha 1] [47]
Arena Sport Klik Sport
Flag of Afghanistan.svg  Afghanistan Lemar TV
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Fox Sports Foxtel Go [48]
MyFootball
Kayo Sports
Flag of Cambodia.svg  Cambodia BTV News
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China CCTV PPTV
Youku
Flag of France.svg  France BeIN Sports [lower-alpha 2] BeIN Sports Connect [49]
Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong Fox Sports Fox+ [lower-alpha 3] [50]
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Papua New Guinea
Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Taiwan Fox Sports
Flag of India.svg  India Star Sports Hotstar [51]
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran IRIB TV3 Anten
Varzesh
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan TV Asahi
NHK BS1
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan KTRK Sport
Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon Télé Liban [lower-alpha 4] [52]
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar Al Kass
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea JTBC
JTBC3 Fox Sports
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand Channel 7 [lower-alpha 5] Bugaboo TV
Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan Turkmenistan Sport
Bet365 [45]
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan Sport-UZ Mediabay
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam VTV VTV Go
  1. DAZN only broadcast seven of 51 matches, starting from the quarter-finals.
  2. Live coverage for final only, with highlights of all matches.
  3. Fox+ broadcast all 51 matches for Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan viewers only.
  4. Lebanon matches only.
  5. Channel 7 broadcast Thailand matches only, with all 51 matches also live and free on Bugaboo TV.

Controversies

Australia vs. Palestine

Many ticket-holding fans were locked out of the Group B match between Palestine and Australia, with management closing a number of Rashid Stadium gates before the start of the match “in the interests of fan safety”. Rashid Stadium was one of the smallest stadiums in the tournament with only 12,000 seats and many non-ticket holding fans attempted to watch the match without buying tickets. The organizing committee issued a statement for the reasons of closure stating “Ahead of kick-off a large crowd of fans with and without tickets had gathered over a short period of time outside the stadium, which resulted in the need to secure the area." They then issued an apology to supporters who were “inconvenienced or left disappointed” and issued an investigative probe to insure it to be an isolated incident. [53]

Qatar travel complications

As a result of 2017–19 Qatar diplomatic crisis between Qatar and number of its neighbours since 5 June 2017, including the United Arab Emirates as the host country, the UAE suspended all direct flights between the two countries and initially banned Qatari citizens from entering their country, [54] although the Emirati government later announced that it would permit Qatari citizens temporary entry into the country pending approval from Emirati authorities. [55] According to a report, Saoud al-Mohannadi, a Qatari national who is the AFC vice-president and chairman of the organizing committee for the Asian Cup, was unable to enter the UAE two days prior to the tournament's start because Emirati authorities had not yet cleared him. [56] The director of the 2019 AFC Organizing Committee denied reports that Al Mohannadi was refused entry and declared that Al Mohannadi has arrived on Friday morning and was preparing for his meetings. The director stated that there was no evidence that shows he was unable to enter and stated that this news has "political purposes". He stated "We try to keep sports away from politics." [57]

The diplomatic crisis prevented many fans from attending Qatar matches in the UAE. This had affected attendance figures in Qatar matches, as little more than 450 people spectated the Group E clash between North Korea and Qatar on 13 January. [58] The UAE government had confirmed previously that Qatari citizens may enter UAE with prior permission obtained directly through a hotline from UAE authorities. [55]

According to Qatar's Sports Press Committee, five Qatar-based media representatives were denied entry into the UAE despite having entry visas and receiving assurances that they would be allowed to attend and report on the tournament by the AFC. [59] The AFC Media Committee dismissed the Qatari reports and stated that some of the Qatar-based journalists confused visit visas with work visas and advised all journalists to contact them if they encounter any issues with the entry visa type. [60]

According to Al Jazeera, the final match, which was won by Qatar, was played "almost entirely without" Qatari support from the stands, due to the travel ban. [61] However, according to Qatar based The Peninsula large number of Qatar fans supported the Qatari team in the stadium, stating "The large number of fans who supported the Qatari team were wearing the logo of Al Annabi [The Maroons] with the background of the names of various players. Apart from their attendance, they carried flags in the stadium and continued to cheer for Al Annabi [The Maroons] players and sing songs throughout the game." [62]

Footwear-throwing incident

During the semifinal match between Qatar and hosts United Arab Emirates, some UAE supporters threw bottles and footwear into the match after Qatari players scored their second goal, the latter is considered deeply offensive in the Middle East. One of the Qatari players, Salem Al Hajri, was struck on the head with a shoe after Qatar scored its third goal. This conduct was preceded by booing the Qatari national anthem. Qatar won 4–0 despite the situation, reaching their first Asian Cup final. [63] [64] [65] [66] Afterwards, the AFC declared that it would conduct an investigation into the proceedings. [65] [67]

Qatar player eligibility

On 30 January 2019, soon after the hosts lost to Qatar in the semi-finals, the United Arab Emirates Football Association lodged a formal appeal to the AFC over the eligibility of Sudanese-born Almoez Ali and Iraqi-born Bassam Al-Rawi, claiming that they did not qualify to play for Qatar on residency grounds per Article 7 of the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA statutes, which states a player is eligible to play for a representative team if he has "lived continuously for at least five years after reaching the age of 18 on the territory of the relevant association". [68] It was alleged that Ali and Al-Rawi had not lived continuously in Qatar for at least five years over the age of 18, although the players claimed that their mothers were born in Qatar. [69]

Only hours prior to the start of the final on 1 February 2019, the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee announced that it had dismissed the protest lodged by the UAEFA. [70] [71]

Qatar football shirt fan incident

A British-Sudanese football fan was allegedly beaten by fans for wearing a Qatar football shirt to a match in which Qatar was playing and then, after investigation by the police, arrested for wasting police time and making false statements of being assaulted. [72] According to The Guardian, the fan was arrested for wearing a Qatar football shirt. [73] [74] [75] The claim was denied by UAE authorities who stated the fan was arrested for wasting police time and making false assault claims to the police. The UAE police said that the fan had admitted to making false statements. A UAE official in London stated “He was categorically not arrested for wearing a Qatar football shirt. This is instead an instance of a person seeking media attention and wasting police time.” [76] [77] [74] [75] According to photos shown by The National, fans were seen waving the Qatari flag and wearing Qatari football shirts without any instances of arrests. [78]

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