Draw reveals 2019 challenge
Pattaya: Defending champions Islamic Republic of Iran, will begin their 2019 AFC Beach Soccer Championship Thailand title defence against Oman and Iraq in Group D following the official draw in Pattaya, Thailand on Monday.
Fifteen teams, three more than the inaugural edition in 2017, will battle to be crowned champions next March.
Host nation Thailand will face Afghanistan, Malaysia and Palestine in Group A while the United Arab Emirates, who finished second in the 2017 edition in Terengganu, Malaysia, were drawn alongside Lebanon, China PR and Kyrgyz Republic in Group B.
Japan, ranked third in the competition in 2017, take on Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait in Group C.
The second edition of the premier beach soccer championship in Asia will be an important competition as the top three teams will represent the Continent in the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay.
The AFC Beach Soccer Championship Thailand 2019 will be played in Pattaya from March 7-17, 2019.