The stage is set as defending champions Qatar will be hosting the exciting AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023.

Football fever is back! And Qatar is at the centre of the action once again as it will be hosting the 18th edition of the AFC Asian Cup.

The continent’s top 24 nations will be competing for the most prestigious prize in Asian football at the tournament taking place from January 12 to February 10, 2024.

Qatar are the reigning champions and will be hosting this celebrated men’s football tournament for the third time, the first country to ever do so, after previously staging the 1988 and 2011 editions.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 have confirmed that the eagerly anticipated showpiece will be staged across eight stadiums, six of which were venues for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, namely: Al Janoub Stadium, Al Bayt Stadium, Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Education City Stadium and Khalifa International Stadium as well as the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium and Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium.

Tournament hosts and defending champions Qatar are the top seeded team in Group A with their title defence to begin against two-time runners-up China PR as well as Tajikistan and Lebanon. Group B will see 2015 champions Australia playing against Uzbekistan, Syria and India for the knockout stage spots.

Three-time winners Islamic Republic of Iran, 1996 runnersup United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Palestine will vie for the knockout stage spots in Group C. Group D comprises record four-time winners Japan, Indonesia, 2007 champions Iraq and Vietnam.

Twice champions South Korea, the top seeded team in Group E, will have Malaysia, Jordan and Bahrain to contend with. While Group F will have three-time winners Saudi Arabia, Thailand, the Kyrgyz Republic and Oman fighting for the knockout stage spots. The top two sides from each group and the four best third-placed teams will advance to the Round of 16 at the tournament. ✤