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Asian hopefuls to identify 2020 Qualifiers opponents

Kuala Lumpur: Asia’s budding talents will begin their journey to the AFC U-16 Championship 2020 Finals after identifying their Qualifying opponents in the official draw ceremony at the AFC House on Thursday.

All 47 AFC Member Associations (MAs) have expressed their interest to participate in the 2020 Qualifiers, where they will be divided into two zones of WEST (West, South and Central) with 25 teams, and EAST (East and ASEAN) with 22 teams.

The WEST Zone shall have five groups of four teams and one group of five teams, while the EAST Zone shall have three groups of four teams and two groups with five teams.

The Asian hopefuls will vie for top spot in their respective groups that promises direct qualification, while four best second-placed teams will advance to the 2020 Finals.

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As the host for the Finals has yet to be determined, should the yet to be determined host finishes among the qualified as either top of their group or one of the four best second-placed teams, the next (5th) second-placed team in the ranking among all groups will qualify instead.

Groups with five teams will kick-off the 2020 Qualifiers on September 14, followed by the groups of four teams on September 18, with all ending on the 22nd.

The MAs that have been selected as Host of the Qualifiers will be drawn into separate groups. The selected MAs in the WEST Zone are Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Kyrgyz Republic, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan.

The host MAs in the EAST Zone are Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam.

Japan clinched their third AFC U-16 Championship title last October, after beating Tajikistan 1-0 in the finals.

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