Wednesday 20 October 2021
The Executive Office of the Asian Football Confederation decided to hold the final round of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers with a one-round pool system, instead of the previous system, which included home and away confrontations.
The AFC stated on its website today, Wednesday, that the Executive Office took this decision after taking into account the current challenges posed by the emerging Corona virus pandemic, with priority given to the health and safety of all parties concerned before the finals of the tournament to be held in China from June 16 to 16 July 2023.
It was agreed to hold competitions for each group of three rounds on June 8, 11 and 14, 2022, and the opening of applications for hosting group qualifiers matches for all participating national associations will be announced in due course.
A set of requirements will be developed in order to host the qualifying matches, in a similar way to submitting requests to host the tournaments in the 2021 assembly system, in order to ensure the implementation of the best health and safety standards and protocols.
These criteria include the application of minimum travel and quarantine restrictions for all participating teams, the ease of flights to the host country, the health situation in the host country, the availability of sufficient stadiums to host matches, and the most important thing is the mandatory implementation of a Covid-19 examination for all players and officials upon their arrival in the country. And during the competition period under the supervision of the officials to combat the spread of the disease in the Asian Football Confederation.
The new match schedule may be modified when necessary, according to the amendments to the instructions of the AFC Championships.
After the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers were held in China earlier this month, Indonesia and Cambodia got the last two cards that qualified for the final round of qualifiers, after 22 teams got their seats in the final round through the joint Asian qualifiers.
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