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Asian Cup
AFC-Asian-Cup-2015-Logo
Founded 1956
Region Asia (AFC)
Tournament information
Football current event Current
Website Official website

The AFC Asian Cup is an international association football tournament run by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It is the second oldest continental football championship in the world after Copa América. The winning team becomes the champion of Asia and automatically qualifies for the FIFA Confederations Cup.

The Asian Cup was held once every four years from the 1956 edition in Hong Kong until the 2004 tournament in Mainland China. However, since the Summer Olympic Games and the European Football Championship were also scheduled in the same year as the Asian Cup, the AFC decided to move their championship to a less crowded cycle. After 2004, the tournament was next held in 2007 when it was co-hosted by four nations: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Thereafter, it has been held every four years.

The Asian Cup has generally been dominated by a small number of top teams. Initially successful teams included South Korea and Iran. Since 1984, Japan and Saudi Arabia have been the most successful teams, winning 7 of the previous 8 finals. Other teams which have achieved success at times include Iraq, Israel and Kuwait.

Australia joined the Asian confederation in 2007 and hosted the Asian Cup finals in 2015. The 2019 tournament will be expanded from 16 teams to 24 teams, with the qualifying process doubling as part of the qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Unlike other confederation tournaments, the Asian Cup has often been rescheduled to another time of year to better suit the climate of the host nation.

History

Two years after Asian Football Confederation (AFC) came into being in 1954, the first ever AFC Asian Cup was staged in Hong Kong with seven of the 12 founding members vying for the title to become Asia's best football team. The qualifying process involved the hosts plus the winners of the various zones (central, eastern and western). It was only a four-team tournament, a format that also existed for 1960 and 1964. Each sub-confederation already hosts their own biennial championship, each with varying degrees of interest. The dominance factor has swung between the East and West so far. From the superiority of South Korea in the early years of the competition, the tournament became the preserve of Iran who won three consecutive tournaments in 1968, 1972 and 1976 which also hosted the first and last editions.

West Asian countries ruled in the eighties with Kuwait becoming the first country from the Arab region to win the championship in 1980, followed by Saudi Arabia's impressive and consecutive wins in 1984 and 1988.

Japan hold the record for the most victories in the tournament's history with title triumphs in 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2011.

Iraq are the only winners in the new millennium (other than Japan) when they defeated Saudi Arabia 1–0 in the summit clash in 2007 in Indonesia. The win left the then war-torn nation elated.

The 2007 edition of the AFC Asian Cup also saw Australia come face-to-face for the first time with the footballing powers of Asia before the Socceroos signed off with a creditable quarter-final finish. Having come to grips with Asian football, the Australians went all the way to the final in their next outing four years later only to suffer heartbreak in the pulsating Doha final when they lost to Japan 1–0 in extra-time.

The 2015 AFC Asian Cup tournament was hosted by Australia. The host country and South Korea reached the final and Australia won the title after defeating South Korea 2–1 in extra time. United Arab Emirates also finished in third place after defeating Iraq in the third/fourth place play-off.

Trophy

The AFC Asian Cup trophy which is awarded to the winner of the tournament. Since the first tournament it has been awarded to the winning team for them to keep for four years, until the next tournament.

Format

Final tournament

The final tournament is being played in two stages: the group stage and the knockout stage. In the group stage each team plays three games in a group of four, with the winners and runners-up from each group advancing to the knockout stage. In the knockout stage the eight teams advance to compete in a single-elimination tournament, beginning with the quarter-finals and ending with the final match of the tournament. A third-place match is also played between the two losing teams of the semi-finals.

Results

Year Host Final Third Place Match Number of teams
Champions Score Runners-Up Third Place Score Fourth Place
1956
Details
Flag of Hong Kong.svg Hong Kong South Korea.png
South Korea
round-robin Flag of Israel.png
Israel
Flag of Hong Kong.svg
Hong Kong
round-robin Flag of South Vietnam.png
South Vietnam
4
1960
Details
South Korea.png South Korea South Korea.png
South Korea
round-robin Flag of Israel.png
Israel
Template:Country data Republic of China round-robin Flag of South Vietnam.png
South Vietnam
4
1964
Details
Flag of Israel.png Israel Flag of Israel.png
Israel
round-robin Flag of India.svg
India
South Korea.png
South Korea
round-robin Flag of Hong Kong.svg
Hong Kong
4
1968
Details
Iran.png Iran Iran.png
Iran
round-robin Flag of Myanmar.png
Burma
Flag of Israel.png
Israel
round-robin Template:Country data Republic of China 5
1972
Details
Flag of Thailand.png Thailand Iran.png
Iran
2–1 aet South Korea.png
South Korea
Flag of Thailand.png
Thailand
2–2 aet
(5–3) pen
Flag of Cambodia.png
Khmer Republic
6
1976
Details
Iran.png Iran Iran.png
Iran
1–0 Flag of Kuwait.png
Kuwait
Flag of the People's Republic of China.png
China
1–0 Flag of Iraq.png
Iraq
6
1980
Details
Flag of Kuwait.png Kuwait Flag of Kuwait.png
Kuwait
3–0 South Korea.png
South Korea
Iran.png
Iran
3–0 Flag of North Korea.png
North Korea
10
1984
Details
Flag of Singapore.png Singapore Flag of Saudi Arabia.png
Saudi Arabia
2–0 Flag of the People's Republic of China.png
China
Flag of Kuwait.png
Kuwait
1–1
(5–3) pen
Iran.png
Iran
10
1988
Details
Flag of Qatar.png Qatar Flag of Saudi Arabia.png
Saudi Arabia
0–0 aet
(4–3) pen
South Korea.png
South Korea
Iran.png
Iran
3–0 aet Flag of the People's Republic of China.png
China
10
1992
Details
Flag of Japan.png Japan Flag of Japan.png
Japan
1–0 Flag of Saudi Arabia.png
Saudi Arabia
Flag of the People's Republic of China.png
China
1–1
(6–5) pen
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.png
United Arab Emirates
8
1996
Details
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.png United Arab Emirates Flag of Saudi Arabia.png
Saudi Arabia
0–0 aet
(4–2) pen
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.png
United Arab Emirates
Iran.png
Iran
1–1
(3–2) pen
Flag of Kuwait.png
Kuwait
12
2000
Details
Lebanon.png Lebanon Flag of Japan.png
Japan
1–0 Flag of Saudi Arabia.png
Saudi Arabia
South Korea.png
South Korea
1–0 Flag of the People's Republic of China.png
China
12
2004
Details
Flag of the People's Republic of China.png China Flag of Japan.png
Japan
3–1 Flag of the People's Republic of China.png
China
Iran.png
Iran
4–2 Flag of Bahrain.png
Bahrain
16
2007
Details
Flag of Indonesia.png Indonesia
Flag of Malaysia.svg Malaysia
Flag of Thailand.png Thailand
Flag of Vietnam.png Vietnam
Flag of Iraq.png
Iraq
1–0 Flag of Saudi Arabia.png
Saudi Arabia
South Korea.png
South Korea
0–0 aet
(6–5) pen
Flag of Japan.png
Japan
16
2011
Details
Flag of Qatar.png Qatar Flag of Japan.png
Japan
1–0 aet Flag of Australia.png
Australia
South Korea.png
South Korea
3–2 Flag of Uzbekistan.gif
Uzbekistan
16
2015
Details
Flag of Australia.png Australia Flag of Australia.png
Australia
2–1 aet South Korea.png
South Korea
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.png
United Arab Emirates
3–2 Flag of Iraq.png
Iraq
16

Teams reaching the top four

Team Winners Runners-up Third-place Fourth-place Top Two Top Three Top Four
Flag of Japan.png Japan 4 (1992*, 2000, 2004, 2011) 1 (2007) 4 4 5
Flag of Saudi Arabia.png Saudi Arabia 3 (1984, 1988, 1996) 3 (1992, 2000, 2007) 6 6 6
Iran.png Iran 3 (1968*, 1972, 1976*) 4 (1980, 1988, 1996, 2004) 1 (1984) 3 7 8
South Korea.png South Korea 2 (1956, 1960*) 4 (1972, 1980, 1988, 2015) 4 (1964, 2000, 2007, 2011) 6 10 10
Flag of Israel.png Israel1 1 (1964*) 2 (1956, 1960) 1 (1968) 3 4 4
Flag of Kuwait.png Kuwait 1 (1980*) 1 (1976) 1 (1984) 1 (1996) 2 3 4
Flag of Australia.png Australia 1 (2015*) 1 (2011) 2 2 2
Flag of Iraq.png Iraq 1 (2007) 2 (1976, 2015) 1 1 3
Flag of the People's Republic of China.png China 2 (1984, 2004) 2 (1976, 1992) 2 (1988, 2000) 2 4 6
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.png United Arab Emirates 1 (1996*) 1 (2015) 1 (1992) 1 2 3
Flag of India.svg India 1 (1964) 1 1 1
Flag of Myanmar.png Burma 1 (1968) 1 1 1
Flag of Hong Kong.svg Hong Kong 1 (1956*) 1 (1964) 1 2
Flag of the Republic of China.png Taiwan 1 (1960) 1 (1968) 1 2
Flag of Thailand.png Thailand 1 (1972*) 1 1
Flag of South Vietnam.png South Vietnam 2 (1956, 1960) 2
Flag of Cambodia.png Cambodia 1 (1972) 1
Flag of North Korea.png North Korea 1 (1980) 1
Flag of Bahrain.png Bahrain 1 (2004) 1
Flag of Uzbekistan.gif Uzbekistan 1 (2011) 1
* hosts
1 Israel was expelled from the AFC in the early 1970s and eventually became a member of UEFA.

Records and statistics

Main article: AFC Asian Cup records and statistics

See also

480px-WC-2014-Brasil.svg
AFC Asian Cup
Tournaments

Hong Kong 1956 · South Korea 1960 · Israel 1964 · Iran 1968 ·  · Thailand 1972 Iran 1976 · Kuwait 1980 · Singapore 1984 · Qatar 1988 · Japan 1992 · United Arab Emirates 1996 · Lebanon 2000 · China 2004 · Indonesia/Malaysia/Thailand/Vietnam 2007 · Qatar 2011 · Australia 2015 · United Arab Emirates 2019 · 2023

AFC Asian Cup finals

1972 · 1976 · 1980 · 1984 · 1988 · 1992 · 1996 · 2000 · 2004 · 2007 · 2011 · 2015 · 2019 ·

AFC Asian Cup Qualification

1956 · 1960 · 1964 · 1968 · 1972 · 1976 · 1980 · 1984 · 1988 · 1992 · 1996 · 2000 · 2004 · 2007 · 2011 · 2015 · 2019 ·

AFC Asian Cup Squads

1956 · 1960 · 1964 · 1968 · 1972 · 1976 · 1980 · 1984 · 1988 · 1992 · 1996 · 2000 · 2004 · 2007 · 2011 · 2015 · 2019 ·

AFC Asian Cup winners

1956: South Korea.png South Korea · 1960: South Korea.png South Korea · 1964: Flag of Israel.png Israel · 1968: Iran.png Iran · 1972: Iran.png Iran · 1976: Iran.png Iran · 1980: Flag of Kuwait.png Kuwait · 1984: Flag of Saudi Arabia.png Saudi Arabia · 1988: Flag of Saudi Arabia.png Saudi Arabia · 1992: Flag of Japan.png Japan · 1996: Flag of Saudi Arabia.png Saudi Arabia · 2000: Flag of Japan.png Japan · 2004: Flag of Japan.png Japan · 2007: Flag of Iraq.png Iraq · 2011: Flag of Japan.png Japan · 2015: Flag of Australia.png Australia · 2019: TBD ·

Asian Football Confederation
AFC club competitions

Champions League · AFC Cup · President's Cup · Futsal Club Championship · Cup Winners Cup · Super Cup

AFC national competitions

Asian Cup · Challenge Cup · U-19 Championship · U-16 Championship · Futsal Championship

International football

FIFA · World Cup · Confederations Cup · U-20 World Cup · U-17 World Cup · Minor tournaments · World Rankings · Player of the Year · Teams · Competitions · Federations · Codes

Confederation Competitions
AFC Asian Cup
CAF Africa Cup of Nations
CONCACAF Gold Cup
CONMEBOL Copa América
OFC Nations Cup
UEFA European Championship
Non-FIFA N.F.-Board · Viva World Cup