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2019 AFC Asian Cup Live Stream
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2019 AFC Asian Cup Live Stream

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup is 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 is being 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 is the second time that the United Arab Emirates hosts the tournament after the 1996 finals.

For the first time, the Asian Cup final tournament is 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.[4] 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. Given the 2021 Confederations Cup host country qualify as hosts, if the eventual host country also wins the Asian Cup, the Asian Cup runner-up will qualify.

The bidding procedure and timeline for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup was approved at the AFC congress on 28 November 2012. The winning bid was originally set to be announced at an AFC congress in June, then November 2014. However, at its 60th Anniversary celebrations at the end of 2014, AFC gave the date of 'summer 2015' to when an announcement would be made.

In January 2015, AFC general secretary Alex Soosay said that Iran and the United Arab Emirates were the only two remaining bidders for the 2019 Asian Cup, and that the eventual hosts would be announced in March 2015.

On 9 March 2015, AFC announced the hosts during an AFC Executive Committee meeting in Manama, Bahrain.

Qualified teams

India, Syria, Thailand and Turkmenistan qualified to the tournament after being absent in several Asian Cup tournaments spanning from 2004 to 2015. Lebanon and Vietnam both qualified for the first time after hosting the tournaments, in 2000 and 2007 respectively. For Vietnam, this was the first time they qualified for the AFC Asian Cup as a unified nation, having participated as South Vietnam in the first two editions (1956 and 1960), outside of hosting the 2007 edition. This was also the first time Yemen qualified for the AFC Asian Cup as a unified country, due to FIFA and AFC categorizing the participation of South Yemen in the 1976 as a distinct record not related to Yemen, who succeeded North Yemen. In addition to Yemen, the Philippines and Kyrgyzstan also marked this edition as their first times to qualify for an Asian Cup.

Tajikistan, along with its fellow CAFA member nation Afghanistan, were the only two countries from their confederation who failed to qualify for the tournament. Iran qualified to the Asian Cup for the first time as a CAFA member, having qualified as part of the WAFF before. Malaysia and Indonesia were the only co-hosts of the 2007 edition that did not qualify for the Asian Cup, as Malaysia had ended their campaign in disaster with just one point out of six matches; while Indonesia was barred from entering the qualification due to tension inside the PSSI which led to FIFA suspension. Kuwait was the only Arab country not to qualify for the Asian Cup, as they were also barred from completing the qualification due to FIFA's sanction. India remained as the only South Asian team to qualify for the tournament. On 13 November 2018 Asian Football Confederation warned the Iranian government to stop meddling in the country's football association, otherwise it may face sanctions before Asian cup games start in January.

 

Date Match Time (UK) Venue
January 28, 2019 Iran vs Japan 2pm Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
January 29, 2019 Qatar vs UAE 2pm Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi