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 ‘Asian Tiger’ Korean football, Asian Cup ‘No. 1 seed’ assigned… What are the other top seeds?

‘Asian Tiger’ Korean football received the top seed for the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup.

On the 8th (Korean time), the AFC announced the port assignment ahead of the group draw for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup finals through its official website.

The Korean national soccer team, led by coach Jurgen Klinsmann, was assigned the top seed, Pot 1. As a result, Korea will not be placed in the same group as other Asian powerhouses at the beginning of the tournament.

The AFC divided the 24 teams that succeeded in advancing to the finals into pots 1, 2, 3, and 4 by grouping 6 teams according to the order of the FIFA rankings.

The tournament will be played in the group stage in six groups. Then, the top 4 teams among the 1st and 2nd placed teams in each group and the 3rd placed teams in each group will advance to the round of 16 and determine the winning team through a tournament.

Korea ranked 27th in the April FIFA rankings announced on the 6th. Along with Korea, Qatar (61st), Japan (20th), Iran (24th), Australia (29th안전놀이터) and Saudi Arabia (54th), the hosts of the Asian Cup, were included in the first pot. All of them are strong Asian teams.

It was followed by Iraq (67th), United Arab Emirates (72nd), Oman (73rd), Uzbekistan (74th), China (81st), and Jordan (84th).

The teams in Pot 3 were Bahrain (85th), Syria (90th), Palestine (93rd), Vietnam (95th), Kyrgyzstan (96th) and Lebanon (99th).

Malaysia and Indonesia, led by coach Kim Pan-gon and Shin Tae-yong, respectively, were placed in the 4th pot. It was followed by India (101st), Tajikistan (109th), Thailand (114th), Malaysia (138th), Hong Kong (147th) and Indonesia (149th).

The draw for the Asian Cup finals will be held on the 11th of next month at 8:00 pm at the Katara Opera House in Doha, Qatar.

Initially, China was selected as the host country of the Asian Cup. However, in the aftermath of the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19), China returned the hosting rights, and Qatar held the tournament.

Qatar successfully hosted the 2022 FIFA World Cup in winter. The Asian Cup will be held from January 12 to February 10, 2024. The title of the tournament will remain the same as the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.

Korea, which won the championship twice in 1956 and 1960, is challenging for the first time in 64 years. South Korea finished runner-up in the 1972, 1980, 1988, and 2015 tournaments. In the recent tournament, the 2019 UAE Asian Cup, Qatar suffered a blow in the quarterfinals. Klinsmann, the new national team coach, announced that “the goal is to win the Asian Cup this year” when he took office last month.

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