Kuala Lumpur: The draw for the AFC Under-23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 Qualifiers was finalised at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday. The hopefuls were divided into 11 groups – 10 groups of four teams each, with the last group containing three. Qatar, meanwhile, will play in the qualifiers for exposure with their matches classified as friendlies.
To be played from September 4 to 12 this year, Group A of the qualifiers will have hosts Jordan, Syria, Oman and Brunei Darussalam vying for the sole automatic ticket to the Finals. Group B will see 2020 champions South Korea (H), Myanmar, Kyrgyz Republic and Qatar contesting with Vietnam (H), Singapore, Yemen and Guam the Group C cast.
Japan, the 2016 champions, are the top seeds in Group D with Bahrain (H), Palestine and Pakistan their challengers while 2018 champions Uzbekistan (H), Iran, Hong Kong and Afghanistan were drawn in Group E. Group F will see 2013 winners Iraq, Kuwait (H), Timor-Leste and Macau doing battle with United Arab Emirates, India, Maldives and hosts China the Group G teams.
Hosts Thailand lead Group H with Malaysia, Bangladesh and Philippines also aiming for a place in the finals while Group I will see Australia, Tajikistan (H), Laos and DPR Korea locking horns. Defending champions Saudi Arabia (H), Cambodia, Lebanon and Mongolia were drawn in Group J while the three-team Group K will be a tussle between Turkmenistan, Indonesia (H) and Chinese Taipei. The AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 finals are scheduled for April 15 to May 3, 2024.