AFC Asian Cup: Preview & Group Stage Schedule

The 18th edition of the AFC Asian Cup is set to take place 12 January to 10 February, after being postponed last year. The tournament will be held in Qatar, replacing original hosts China. Due to the high summer temperatures and Qatar’s participation in the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the tournament was postponed to early 2024.

AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 People are visiting the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 information center at the City Center shopping mall in Doha
IMAGO / NurPhoto

The tournament will consist of 24 teams from across the continent that have been split into 6 groups of 4. Each team will play each other once and the four best third-placed teams from the six groups advance to the knockout stage along with the six group winners and six runners-up.

Teams are ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss). In case of a tie a number of tiebreaker criteria will be put in effect.

 In the knockout stage there will be sixteen teams competing in a single-elimination tournament. This will begin with the round of 16 and end with the final match of the tournament held on February 10th.

There will be 9 venues used to host the competition: Al Bayt Stadium, Lusail Stadium, Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Education City Stadium, Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium.

The current champions are Qatar, who defeated Japan in the 2019 finals by the score of 3-1. It was Qatar’s first ever top 4 finish in the competition.

The most successful team in the tournament’s history is Japan who have won the Cup 4 times. Saudi Arabia and Iran have both won the tournament 3 times each.

Complete Group Stage Schedule

The  tournament gets under way on January 12 at the iconic Lusail Stadium where Lionel Messi and Argentina lifted the 2022 World Cup. The first game will be between Qatar and Lebanon.

Find below a list of all group stage fixtures for the AFC CUP 2023:

January 12: Qatar vs Lebanon β€” Lusail Stadium, Lusail

January 13: China vs Tajikistan β€” Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha

January 13: Australia vs India β€” Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 13: Uzbekistan vs Syria β€” Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 14: UAE vs Hong Kong β€” Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 14: Iran vs Palestine β€” Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 14: Japan vs Vietnam β€” Al Thumama Stadium, Doha

January 15: Indonesia vs Iraq β€” Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 15: South Korea vs Bahrain β€” Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 15: Malaysia vs Jordan β€” Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

January 16: Thailand vs Kyrgyzstan β€” Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha

January 16: Saudi Arabia vs Oman β€” Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 17: Lebanon vs China β€” Al Thumama Stadium, Doha

January 17: Tajikistan vs Qatar β€” Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

January 18: Syria vs Australia β€” Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 18: India vs Uzbekistan β€” Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 18: Palestine vs UAE β€” Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

January 19: Hong Kong vs Iran β€” Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 19: Iraq vs Japan β€” Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 19: Vietnam vs Indonesia β€” Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha

January 20: Jordan vs South Korea β€” Al Thumama Stadium, Doha

January 20: Bahrain vs Malaysia β€” Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 21: Oman vs Thailand β€” Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha

January 21: Kyrgysztan vs Saudi Arabia β€” Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 22: Qatar vs China β€” Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 22: Tajikistan vs Lebanon β€” Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 23: Australia vs Uzbekistan β€” Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

January 23: Syria vs India β€” Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

January 23: Iran vs UAE β€” Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 23: Hong Kong vs Palestine β€” Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha

January 24: Japan vs Indonesia β€” Al Thumama Stadium, Doha

January 24: Iraq vs Vietnam β€” Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 25: South Korea vs Malaysia β€” Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

January 25: Jordan vs Bahrain β€” Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 25: Saudi Arabia vs Thailand β€” Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

January 25: Kyrgyzstan vs Oman β€” Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha