AFC Asian Cup

Last updated
AFC Asian Cup
Founded1956;63 years ago (1956)
RegionAsia (AFC)
Number of teams24
Current championsFlag of Qatar.svg  Qatar
(1st title)
Most successful team(s)Flag of Japan.svg  Japan (4 titles)
Website www.the-afc.com
Soccerball current event.svg 2023 AFC Asian Cup

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 until 2015 qualified for the FIFA Confederations Cup. [1]

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.

CONMEBOL Copa América, known until 1975 as the South American Football Championship, is a men's international football tournament contested between national teams from CONMEBOL. It is the oldest international continental football competition. The competition determines the continental champion of South America. Since the 1990s, teams from North America and Asia have also been invited to participate.

Contents

The Asian Cup was held once every four years from the 1956 edition in Hong Kong until the 2004 tournament in China. However, since the Summer Olympic Games and the European Football Championship were also scheduled in the same year as the Asian Cup, the AFC decided to move their championship to a less crowded cycle. After 2004, the tournament was next held in 2007 when it was co-hosted by four nations: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Thereafter, it has been held every four years.

The 1956 AFC Asian Cup was the first AFC Asian Cup, held every four years and organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The final tournament was held in Hong Kong from 1 September to 15 September 1956. It was won by South Korea.

Hong Kong East Asian city

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and commonly abbreviated as HK, is a special administrative region of China on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is the world's fourth-most densely populated region.

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.

The Asian Cup has generally been dominated by a small number of top teams. Initially successful teams included South Korea (twice) and Iran (three times). Since 1984, Japan (four times) and Saudi Arabia (three times) have been the most successful teams, together winning 7 of the last 10 finals. The other teams which have achieved success are Qatar (2019 current champions), Australia (2015), Iraq (2007) and Kuwait (1980). Israel won in 1964 but were later expelled and have since joined UEFA.

South Korea national football team mens national association football team representing South Korea

The Korea Republic national football team represents South Korea in international association football and is organised by the Korea Football Association.

The Iran men's national football team, also known as Team Melli, represents Iran in international football competitions and is governed by the Iran Football Federation. From December 2014 until May 2018, the men's national football team of Iran remained the highest-ranked team in Asia, representing the longest continuous period of time a team has been top of the continent in the rankings.

Japan national football team Mens national association football team representing Japan

The Japan national football team represents Japan in association football and is operated by the Japan Football Association (JFA), the governing body for football in Japan. The current head coach is former footballer and current coach of the Japan national under-23 football team: Hajime Moriyasu.

Australia joined the Asian confederation in 2007 and hosted the Asian Cup finals in 2015. [2] The 2019 tournament had been expanded from 16 teams to 24 teams, with the qualifying process doubling as part of the qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. [3] [4] Unlike other confederation tournaments, the Asian Cup has often been rescheduled to another time of year to better suit the climate of the host nation, for example in 2007 it was played in July but the following three tournaments were played in January.

2019 AFC Asian Cup 17th edition of the AFC Asian Cup

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.

2007 AFC Asian Cup football tournament

The 2007 AFC Asian Cup was the 14th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The finals were held from 7 to 29 July 2007. For the first time in its history, the competition was co-hosted by four nations: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. For the first time in the nation's history, Iraq won the continental title after it defeated Saudi Arabia 1–0 in the final. As the winner, Iraq represented the AFC in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

History

Two years after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) came into being in 1954, the first ever AFC Asian Cup was staged in Hong Kong with seven of the 12 founding members taking part. The qualifying process involved the hosts plus the winners of the various zones (central, eastern and western). It was only a four-team tournament, a format that also existed for 1960 and 1964. Each sub-confederation already hosts their own biennial championship, each with varying degrees of interest. Dominance has swung between the East and West so far. From the superiority of South Korea in the early years of the competition, the tournament became the preserve of Iran who won three consecutive tournaments in 1968, 1972 and 1976. [5]

Central Asia core region of the Asian continent

Central Asia stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east and from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north. The region consists of the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It is also colloquially referred to as "the stans" as the countries generally considered to be within the region all have names ending with the Persian suffix "-stan", meaning "land of".

East Asia Subregion of Asia

East Asia is the eastern subregion of Asia, defined in either geographical or ethno-cultural terms. China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam belong to the East Asian cultural sphere. Geographically and geopolitically, the region includes China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, and South Korea.

Western Asia westernmost portion of Asia

Western Asia, West Asia, Southwestern Asia or Southwest Asia is the westernmost subregion of Asia. The concept is in limited use, as it significantly overlaps with the Middle East, the main difference usually being the exclusion of the majority of Egypt and the inclusion of the Caucasus. The term is sometimes used for the purposes of grouping countries in statistics. The total population of Western Asia is an estimated 300 million as of 2015. Although the term "Western Asia" is mostly used as a convenient division of contemporary sovereign states into a manageable number of world regions for statistical purposes, it is sometimes used instead of the more geopolitical term "Middle East".

West Asian countries dominated in the 1980s with Kuwait becoming the first Middle East country to win the championship in 1980, followed by Saudi Arabia's consecutive wins in 1984 and 1988.

Kuwait national football team national association football team

The Kuwait national football team is the national team of Kuwait and is controlled by the Kuwait Football Association. Kuwait made one World Cup finals appearance, in 1982, managing one point in the group stages. In the Asian Cup, Kuwait reached the final in 1976 and won the tournament in 1980.

Middle East region that encompasses Western Asia and Egypt

The Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt. Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest Middle Eastern nation while Bahrain is the smallest. The corresponding adjective is Middle Eastern and the derived noun is Middle Easterner. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East beginning in the early 20th century.

The 1980 AFC Asian Cup was the 7th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The finals were hosted by Kuwait between 15 and 30 September 1980. The field of ten teams was split into two groups of five. Kuwait won their first championship, beating Korea Republic in the final 3–0.

Japan hold the record for the most victories in the tournament's history, having won in 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2011. [6]

The 2007 Asian Cup also saw Australia compete for the first time, reaching the quarter-final stage; Iraq defeated Australia, South Korea and Saudi Arabia to win their first ever Asian Cup despite an adverse domestic situation and conditions for the players. [7]

At the 2019 Asian Cup, the video assistant referees were used in the tournament for the first time, [8] as well as an expansion to 24 teams. [9] In addition, a fourth substitution was allowed during extra time. [10]

Trophy

Majed Abdullah in Asia Cup 1984 (cropped).jpg
The original trophy...
AFC Asian Cup at Fed Square.jpg
...and the redesigned one.
Current trophy, carried by Park Ji-sung. Qatar v Japan - AFC Asian Cup 2019 final 05.jpg
Current trophy, carried by Park Ji-sung.

There have been two Asian Cup trophies; the first one used between 1956 and 2015, and the second one in use since 2019.

The first trophy came in a form of a bowl with circular base. Its was 42 centimeters tall and weighs 15 kilograms. [11] Until the 2000 tournament, the black base contained plaques engraved with names of every winning country, as well as the edition won. [12] [13] The trophy was redesigned, adding more silver and reduce the black base to just a thin layer down. This base was plaque-free and the winner names were engraved around the base. [14]

During the draw for the 2019 group stage on 4 May 2018 at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, an all new trophy made by Thomas Lyte was unveiled. It is 78 centimeters tall, 42 centimeters wide, and weighs 15 kilograms of silver. [15] The trophy is modeled over lotus flower, a symbolically important aquatic Asian plant. Five petals of the lotus symbolize the five sub-confederations under the AFC. [16] The winner names are engraved around the trophy base, which is separable from the trophy's main body. This trophy has a handle on each side, unlike its predecessor.

Format

Final tournament

Since 2019, the final tournament is played in two stages: the group stage and the knockout stage. In the group stage each team plays three games in a group of four, with the winners and runners-up from each group advancing to the knockout stage along with the four best third-placed teams. In the knockout stage the sixteen teams compete in a single-elimination tournament, beginning with the round of 16 and ending with the final match of the tournament.

Results

EditionYearHostsFinalThird place match or losing semi-finalistsNumber of teams
WinnersScoreRunners-upThird placeScoreFourth place
11956
Details
Flag of Hong Kong 1876.svg  Hong Kong Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg
South Korea
round-robin Flag of Israel.svg
Israel
Flag of Hong Kong 1876.svg
Hong Kong
round-robin Flag of South Vietnam.svg
South Vietnam
4
21960
Details
Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg  South Korea Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg
South Korea
round-robin Flag of Israel.svg
Israel
Flag of the Republic of China.svg
Republic of China
round-robin Flag of South Vietnam.svg
South Vietnam
4
31964
Details
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel Flag of Israel.svg
Israel
round-robin Flag of India.svg
India
Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg
South Korea
round-robin Flag of Hong Kong 1959.svg
Hong Kong
4
41968
Details
State Flag of Iran (1964).svg  Iran State Flag of Iran (1964).svg
Iran
round-robin Flag of Burma (1948-1974).svg
Burma
Flag of Israel.svg
Israel
round-robin Flag of the Republic of China.svg
Republic of China
5
51972
Details
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand State Flag of Iran (1964).svg
Iran
2–1( a.e.t. )Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg
South Korea
Flag of Thailand.svg
Thailand
2–2( a.e.t. )
(5–3 p )
Flag of the Khmer Republic.svg
Khmer Republic
6
61976
Details
State Flag of Iran (1964).svg  Iran State Flag of Iran (1964).svg
Iran
1–0Flag of Kuwait.svg
Kuwait
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China PR
1–0Flag of Iraq (1963-1991); Flag of Syria (1963-1972).svg
Iraq
6
71980
Details
Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait Flag of Kuwait.svg
Kuwait
3–0Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg
South Korea
Flag of Iran.svg
Iran
3–0Flag of North Korea (1948-1992).svg
North Korea
10
81984
Details
Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg
Saudi Arabia
2–0Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China PR
Flag of Kuwait.svg
Kuwait
1–1( a.e.t. )
(5–3 p )
Flag of Iran.svg
Iran
10
91988
Details
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg
Saudi Arabia
0–0( a.e.t. )
(4–3 p )
Flag of South Korea (1984-1997).svg
South Korea
Flag of Iran.svg
Iran
0–0( a.e.t. )
(3–0 p )
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China PR
10
101992
Details
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg  Japan Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg
Japan
1–0Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg
Saudi Arabia
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China PR
1–1( a.e.t. )
(4–3 p )
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg
United Arab Emirates
8
111996
Details
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg
Saudi Arabia
0–0( a.e.t. )
(4–2 p )
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg
United Arab Emirates
Flag of Iran.svg
Iran
1–1( a.e.t. )
(3–2 p )
Flag of Kuwait.svg
Kuwait
12
122000
Details
Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon Flag of Japan.svg
Japan
1–0Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg
Saudi Arabia
Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg
South Korea
1–0Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China PR
12
132004
Details
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China Flag of Japan.svg
Japan
3–1Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
China PR
Flag of Iran.svg
Iran
4–2Flag of Bahrain.svg
Bahrain
16
142007
Details
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam
Flag of Iraq (2004-2008).svg
Iraq
1–0Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg
Saudi Arabia
Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg
South Korea
0–0( a.e.t. )
(6–5 p )
Flag of Japan.svg
Japan
16
152011
Details
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar Flag of Japan.svg
Japan
1–0( a.e.t. )Flag of Australia (converted).svg
Australia
Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg
South Korea
3–2Flag of Uzbekistan.svg
Uzbekistan
16
162015
Details
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of Australia (converted).svg
Australia
2–1( a.e.t. )Flag of South Korea.svg
South Korea
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg
United Arab Emirates
3–2Flag of Iraq.svg
Iraq
16
172019
Details
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates Flag of Qatar.svg
Qatar
3–1Flag of Japan.svg
Japan
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran and Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates 24
182023
Details
TBDTBDTBDTBD24

Summary

TeamTitlesRunners-upThird PlaceFourth PlaceSemi-finalistsTop 4 Finishes
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 4 (1992 * , 2000, 2004, 2011)1 (2019)1 (2007)6
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 3 (1984, 1988, 1996)3 (1992, 2000, 2007)6
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 3 (1968 * , 1972, 1976 * )4 (1980, 1988, 1996, 2004)1 (1984)1 (2019)9
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 2 (1956, 1960 * )4 (1972, 1980, 1988, 2015)4 (1964, 2000, 2007, 2011)10
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel 1 1 (1964 * )2 (1956, 1960)1 (1968)4
Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait 1 (1980 * )1 (1976)1 (1984)1 (1996)4
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 1 (2015 * )1 (2011)2
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 1 (2007)2 (1976, 2015)3
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar 1 (2019)1
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR 2 (1984, 2004 * )2 (1976, 1992)2 (1988, 2000)6
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates 1 (1996 * )1 (2015)1 (1992)1 (2019 * )4
Flag of India.svg  India 1 (1964)1
Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar 1 (1968)1
Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong 1 (1956 * )1 (1964)2
Flag of Chinese Taipei (FIFA).svg  Chinese Taipei 2 1 (1960)1 (1968)2
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand 1 (1972 * )1
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam 3 2 (1956, 1960)2
Flag of Cambodia.svg  Cambodia 1 (1972)1
Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea 1 (1980)1
Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain 1 (2004)1
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan 1 (2011)1
Total17171616268

* hosts
1 Israel was expelled from the AFC in the early 1970s and eventually became a member of UEFA. [17]
2 as Republic of China
3 as South Vietnam

Records and statistics

Controversies

Despite being the second oldest continental football tournament, the AFC Asian Cup has suffered numerous criticisms. [18] [19] [20] Criticisms over the inability of the AFC Asian Cup to attract large attendances, political interferences, high costs of traveling between AFC member states and different cultures were highlighted over the Asian Cup.

Political interferences

The AFC Asian Cup is marked with numerous political interferences. This was the case of Israel, as the team used to be a member of the AFC but following Yom Kippur War and increasing tensions against the Arab AFC members, Israel was expelled from the AFC in 1974 and had to compete in OFC until being granted UEFA membership in 1990. [21] Meanwhile, similar cases also exist in other AFC tournaments like the case between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Following the 2016 attack on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran, Saudi Arabia has rejected playing with Iran and even threatens to withdraw if the AFC refuses to follow, and even extended it to international level; [22] or tensions between the two Koreas during the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification had led North Korea to withdraw from hosting the South Korean team and refusing to display the South Korean flag and play their national anthem. As a result, North Korea's home matches were moved to Shanghai. [23]

Low attendances

Low crowds have also been another problems for the AFC Asian Cup. At the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, there had been concerns over low record of crowds due to little football interests and high costs of traveling between Asian nations leading to then-Australia coach Holger Osieck claimed that the Qatar Armed Forces were used to fill up the stadiums simply for aesthetics, while Australia international Brett Holman commented, "Worldwide it's not recognised as a good tournament". [20]

See also

References and footnotes

  1. "FIFA Council votes for the introduction of a revamped FIFA Club World Cup". FIFA.com. 15 March 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  2. "Australia play for the first time". Asiancup.com.au. Retrieved 2015-05-03.
  3. "Revamp of AFC competitions". The-afc.com. 25 January 2014. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014.
  4. "AFC Asian Cup changes set for 2019". Afcasiancup.com. 26 January 2014. Archived from the original on 30 January 2014.
  5. "Asian Cup: Know Your History - Part One (1956-1988)". Goal.com. 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  6. "Asian Cup: Know Your History - Part Two (1992-2007)". Goal.com. 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  7. Lampen, Jerry. "Iraq ride wave of support to lift Asian Cup". Reuters. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  8. "AFC plans to introduce VAR at UAE 2019". 27 September 2018.
  9. "AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 – Match Schedule" (PDF). AFC. 7 May 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  10. "Fourth substitution to be introduced at UAE 2019". AFC. 12 October 2018.
  11. AFC Asian Cup Trophy on YouTube
  12. "The Asian Cup Trophy - Asia Cup". Getty Images. 21 December 1996.
  13. "Japan coach Philippe Troussier lifts the Asian Cup trophy". Alamy . 29 October 2000.
  14. "The remarkable rise of Asia's greatest showpiece". Asian Football Confederation. 5 December 2018. Archived from the original on 5 February 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  15. "Dazzling new AFC Asian Cup trophy unveiled in Dubai". Asian Football Confederation. 4 May 2018.
  16. Highlights: AFC Asian Cup 2019 trophy reveal on YouTube
  17. "About the IFA". The Israel Football Association. Archived from the original on 2 May 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  18. "Iran's success reflects the failures of Asian football". The Economist. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  19. Panja, Tariq (17 January 2019). "Politics Looms Over Empty Seats as Saudi Arabia Faces Qatar in Asian Cup". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  20. 1 2 Paraskevas, Chris. "Asian Cup 2011 Comment: Empty Stadiums Hurting Asian Football And Qatar". www.goal.com. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  21. Conor Heffernan (20 November 2014). "The Controversial Case of Israel & International Football". punditarena.com. Pundit Arena. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  22. "Saudi-Iranian Tension Extends To Sports – Saudi Arabian Football Federation Announces: We Will Not Play In Iran". memri.org. The Middle East Media Research Institute. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  23. Mark Ledsom (7 March 2008). "Koreas match moved to Shanghai after anthem row". Reuters . Retrieved 29 July 2018.

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