DOHA - May 26, 2023 (QNA) - The draw for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers for the continental finals in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which will be hosted by the State of Qatar from April 15 until May 3, 2024.
The draw resulted in the Qatari national team falling into Group B, along with South Korea , Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan, and the matches of this group will be held in South Korea.
The Qatari team's participation in the qualifiers will be in a friendly match, and will not be taken into account when determining the group ranking, considering that it hosts the continental finals.
A total of 43 teams will participate in the qualifiers, as this will be the six edition in the history of the tournament, and the qualifiers will be held from Sep. 4-12.
The participating teams were divided into 11 groups, with 10 four-team groups, while the last group has only three teams.
The draw resulted in placing Saudi Arabia, the defending champions in Group J alongside Cambodia, Lebanon and Mongolia, while Uzbekistan the runners up came in Group E against Iran, Hong Kong, China and Afghanistan.
Group A brought together three teams from the West Asian region, which are Jordan, Syria and Oman, along with Brunei, while Group C included the teams of Vietnam, Singapore, Yemen and Guam.
Group B brought together two teams from the West region, namely: Palestine and Bahrain, against Japan and Pakistan, while Group F included Iraq and Kuwait from the West region, along with East Timor and Macau.
Group G included UAE, India, the Maldives and China , while Group H included Thailand , Malaysia, Bangladesh and the Philippines.
Group I included Australia, Tajikistan, Laos and North Korea, while Group K included Turkmenistan, Indonesia and Taipei.
After Round 1 of the tournament, the first of each group will qualify for the Round 2 along with the best four second placers.
The teams participating in the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualifiers were categorized on basis of the results of the 2022 edition of the championship in Uzbekistan.
The AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualifiers will be played in 11 countries, these are Bahrain, China, Indonesia, Jordan, South Korea, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
Saudi Arabia won the last edition after beating the hosts Uzbekistan 2-0 in the final.
Coach of the Qatari Olympic team Bruno Miguel Pinheiro has recently announced the squad participating in Toulon International from June 5 to 18, and in the preparation camp in Girona, Spain.
The 26-man squad comprises Amir Hassan, Abdullah Mohammed Ali Nadir and Yousef Abdullah in goalkeeping; Hassan Al Ghareeb, Dyab Haroun, Seif Aldeen Hassan, Abdullah Al Sulaiti, Abdullah Al Ali, Abdullah Al Yazeedi, Abdullah Yousef, Mohammed Ayash and Mustafa Essam in defense; Usama Al Tairi, Khalid Ali, Faris Saeed, Faisal Mohammed, Mohammed Al Mannae, Nayef Al Hadrami and Nabeel Irfan in midfield and Ahmed Al Rawi, Ahmed Al Saeed, Elyas Hameed, Lutfi Majer, Mubarak Shannan and Mohammed Seraj in forward.
The Qatari team will play in the Toulon International Championship in Group 2 along with Australia, Mexico and Togo.
16 teams will participate in the AFC U23 Asian Cup finals, which will take place in Doha from April 15 to May 3, 2024.