Abu Dhabi: For 24 teams the road ahead to join Asia’s footballing elite will be decided at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers Final Round Draw in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital, on Monday.
In the draw, the 24 teams will be divided into six groups of four, with matches played both home and away during the official FIFA days from March 28, 2017 to March 27, 2018. The official logo of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 will also be launched during the ceremony which takes place at 16.00 (Gulf Standard Time GMT +4).
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa conveyed his best wishes to the participating teams as the continent prepares for another riveting competition in 2019 after the highly-successful AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015.
“There is no doubt that Australia 2015 was an outstanding success and I am confident that the UAE will look to build on the excitement and expectation surrounding the AFC Asian Cup to deliver a breathtaking competition, which will further strengthen our aspirations under the banner of One Asia, One Goal.
“I wish all 24 teams the very best of luck in the draw and I have no doubt that the road to UAE will produce some memorable moments and captivating football which sets the benchmark for Confederation competitions.”
Following the AFC’s decision to expand the competition from 16 to 24 teams, the winners and runners-up from each group - a total of 12 teams - will qualify to the final competition of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
They will be joined by the other 12 teams, which include defending champions Australia, China PR, Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Thailand, Uzbekistan and hosts United Arab Emirates - who have already qualified to the final competition through the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2.
The 24 teams have been seeded below, based on the January 2017 FIFA ranking:
Please click here for full details of the draw mechanics.
For the live streaming of tomorrow’s AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers Final Round Draw and Logo Launch, please click here, starting at 4pm Gulf Standard Time.