More history to be made in final
Abu Dhabi: The AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 final between Japan and Qatar at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday will see more history being written into the Continent's premier football tournament.
Japan and Qatar are both in a position to chart new chapters in what is already a historic AFC Asian Cup with an expanded 24 teams having competed for the title.
A win for the Samurai Blue will mean a record-extending fifth title while for Qatar, victory would mean winning the title for the first time, after having never advanced past the quarter-final stage in their previous AFC Asian Cup appearances.
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The final will also conclude the highly impressive debut of Molten match balls, with the Japanese sports manufacturing giants the latest partner of the AFC’s competitions.
While the final blow of match referee Ravshan Irmatov's whistle will see a new chapter penned, it will also pave the way for two new milestones to be recorded in AFC Asian Cup history, which has already seen the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system from the quarter-final stage.
The first will be the lifting of the sparkling new AFC Asian Cup trophy, unveiled last May by AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa during the official draw ceremony in Dubai.
The dazzling trophy, designed by a world renowned silversmith from London, will take its place as the new iconic silverware of football’s second oldest Continental tournament.
The historic firsts won't stop there though as the champions will receive a handsome winners' cheque of USD$5 million, from the prize fund totalling USD$14.8 million introduced for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
The runners-up will receive USD$3 million, the losing semi-finalists USD$1 million and all 24 teams USD$200,000 as the curtains come down on the biggest-ever AFC Asian Cup.
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