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Asian Cup: All you need to know

Going back to the first tournament in 1956, the Asia Cup is the competition to decide the continental champions of Asia.

Here’s all you need to know about the history of the tournament, the format and what to expect from the next competition to be held in 2024.

What is the Asian Cup?

Starting with the first competition back in 1956, the Asian Cup is the second oldest continental football championship in the world behind the Copa America.

Held every four years, the competition sees the top Asian nations face off to determine the best side on the continent.

Australia joined the Asian Football Confederation back in 2007 and even hosted the finals back in 2015 where they won the competition on home soil.

What is the format of the Asian Cup?

The 2019 Asian Cup was expanded from 16 teams to 24 teams, with the qualifying process doubling as part of the qualification for the 2018 World Cup. Since then, 24 teams now play in the finals.

Each side plays three games in a group of four, with the winners and runners-up from each group qualifying for the knockout stage along with the four best third-placed nations. 

In the knockout stage, the 16 remaining sides compete in a single-elimination tournament, beginning with the round of 16 and ending with the Asian Cup final.

Who has previously won the Asian Cup?

1956Hong KongSouth KoreaIsrael
1960South KoreaSouth KoreaIsrael
1972ThailandIranSouth Korea
1980KuwaitKuwaitSouth Korea
1984SingaporeSaudi ArabiaChina
1988QatarSaudi ArabiaSouth Korea
1992JapanJapanSaudi Arabia
1996UAESaudi ArabiaUAE
2000LebanonJapanSaudi Arabia
2007Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, VietnamIraqSaudi Arabia
2015AustraliaAustraliaSouth Korea

When is the next Asian Cup?

The delayed 2023 Asian Cup is the next instalment of the competition which will take place in Qatar. 

Originally to be hosted over June and July in China, the tournament was moved to Qatar to be played between 12th January 2024 to 10th February 2024.

Eight stadiums across the country in the cities of Al Khor, Al Rayyan, Doha and Al Wakrah will be the selected venues for the competition.

Australia, looking to win the Asian Cup for the second time since joining the competition, find themselves in Group B, alongside Uzbekistan, Syria and India.

The Socceroos kick-start their tournament against India on 13th January at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan.

Australia then face Syria five days later at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium situated again in Al Rayyan, before their final Group B game against Uzbekistan on 23rd January at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha.

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