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Friday, March 30, 2012

2015 Asian Cup preliminary draw in October

According to AFC, "The members were informed that 20 teams, who have confirmed their entries for the qualifiers, would be drawn into five groups of four teams each. The top two teams from each group and one third best-placed team from among all the groups would qualify for the Finals."

According to QFA, "On the margin of the AFC executive committee meetings, it was confirmed that the qualification stage draw for the 2015 Asian Cup - Australia will be held on October."

AFC had reserved two match days in September 2012 for a possible preliminary round (1 and 5 Sep), but they won't be used.

These are the match days (2013 and 2014):

MD 1: 6 February 2013
MD 2: 22 March 2013
MD 3: 15 October 2013
MD 4: 15 November 2013
MD 5: 19 November 2013
MD 6: 5 March 2014

Alternative match dates: 11 January 2014, 18 January 2014 and 25 January 2014. Why are they needed? Because MD 3 and 5 collide with the AFC-CONMEBOL World Cup play-off.

Now, about participation. This is the list I've received from AFC (yes, they've finally replied to my e-mails!): Uzbekistan, Qatar, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, China, Bahrain, Syria, UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Thailand, Yemen, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Lebanon and Hong Kong.

Based on the 2011 Asian Cup performance ranking, the bottom 23 will participate in the AFC Challenge Cup, while the top 23 will be involved in the main qualifiers. Obviously, the top 3 (Japan, Australia and Korea Republic) have direct entry and that leaves 20 teams to participate in the qualifiers.

Korea DPR are a special case. Although they are in the top 23, the AFC Executive Committee has allowed them to play in the AFC Challenge Cup because of difficulties in hosting home-and-away games in Korea DPR. If the North Koreans would have confirmed their participation in the main qualifiers, there would have been a preliminary round involving Lebanon and Hong Kong.

Now, there's only one problem. Based on 2011 Asian Cup performance, India are 16th. Why won't they participate in the main qualifiers? No answer from AFC (yet) regarding this.

These will be the pots for the October draw:

Pot 1: Uzbekistan, Qatar, Jordan, Iran, Iraq
Pot 2: China PR, Bahrain, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait
Pot 3: Saudi Arabia, Oman, Thailand, Yemen, Vietnam
Pot 4: Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Lebanon and Hong Kong.

Thailand should be below Yemen, but this doesn't affect the seeding.

Group of death: Iran, China PR, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon.

10 comments:

  1. Are you sure they'll use that ranking?

    Challenge Cup teams can't get into the top unless they actually qualify. The lowliest team from the "proper" qualifiers is ranked ahead of the strongest Challenge Cup non-qualifier.

    India qualified through the Challenge Cup, thus their exclusion I expect, as the system excludes those other teams. Clearly they don't want them there.

    I feel Uzbekistan is the most dangerous team. Semi final, Asian Cup. Dominated the group of death in WCQ.

    Of course it's the other teams in their group which wuill decide if it's the group of death or not. I think all Pot B teams are about equal. The Saudis continue to decline. Maybe Oman, their conqueror in the World Cup group is the best of Group C. I believe you are correct with lebanon. They stood out from the others easily in WCQ. Their mere presence in a group could make it the group of death by default.

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  2. There should be 5 pots and 4 teams, because there will be 5 groups of 4 teams each.

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  3. why don't have any Play-off match ?

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  4. The Preliminary Draw Ceremony for the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 will be conducted on October 9. The ceremony will take place at the Sofitel Hotel, Melbourne.

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  5. Any teams which draw Yemen or Vietnam from Pot 3 and anyone but Lebanon from Pot 4 should pretty much get a free ride to the Asian Cup.

    Group of death: Uzbekistan, UAE, Oman, Lebanon

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    Replies
    1. UAE is the worst team in pot 2.

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    2. Their Olympic team looked good to me. Those players will be stepping up.

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  6. Are the Philippines included? We're #21 in Asia, and with Australia, Japan, South Korea, and North Korea already qualified, does that push us up within qualification range?

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    Replies
    1. No. This was decided long ago. If you want to qualify, you have to win the next Challenge Cup.

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