On the occasion of the hosting of the UAE Football Association in the affairs of ۲۰۱۹ AFC Asian Cup
By Mahmoud Tabrizi Painter of Iranian Football Federation
The 2019 AFC Asian Cup will be 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 will be held in the United Arab Emirates from 5 January to 1 February 2019. The United Arab Emirates was announced as the host for the tournament on 9 March 2015, with Iran being the only remaining bidder for the right to host the 2019 finals. It will be the second time that the United Arab Emirates hosts the tournament after the 1996 finals.
For the first time, the Asian Cup final tournament will be contested by 24 teams, having been expanded from the 16-team format that was used from 2004 to 2015. Under this new format, the finalists will contest a group stage consisting of six groups of four teams, followed by a knockout stage of 16 teams.The host nation automatically qualified for the final tournament, while the remaining 23 places were determined among the other 45 national teams through a qualifying competition, running from March 2015 to March 2018, in which the first two rounds also served as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification process for the AFC.
Australia are the defending champions going into the tournament, having won the previous competition in 2015. The winner of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup will earn the right to participate in the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup which is to be hosted by a yet to be determined AFC association after 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts, Qatar, lost the rights. The 2021 Confederations Cup host country will have already qualified as hosts. If this country wins the Asian Cup, the runner-up will qualify.
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