AFC Asian Cup

AFC Asian Cup
AFC Asian Cup.png
Founded1956; 66 years ago (1956)
RegionAsia (AFC)
Number of teams24 (finals)
46 (eligible to enter qualification)
Current champions Qatar
(1st title)
Most successful team(s) Japan (4 titles)
2023 AFC Asian Cup

The AFC Asian Cup is the primary association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), determining the continental champion of Asia. 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]

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 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 seven of the last ten 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 was later expelled and has since joined UEFA.

Australia joined the Asian confederation in 2007 and hosted the Asian Cup finals in 2015. 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.[2][3]

  1. ^ "FIFA Council votes for the introduction of a revamped FIFA Club World Cup". 15 March 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Revamp of AFC competitions". 25 January 2014. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014.
  3. ^ "AFC Asian Cup changes set for 2019". 26 January 2014. Archived from the original on 30 January 2014.

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