Kuala Lumpur: Asia’s stars of tomorrow will discover their opponents when the AFC U-16 Championship Bahrain 2020 and AFC U-19 Championship Uzbekistan 2020 draws take place at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at 1430 and 1630 hours (local time) on Thursday.
Both competitions will be significant for the young Asian teams as the leading four sides in the AFC U-16 and AFC U-19 Championships qualify for the scheduled editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru and FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia respectively.
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The 16 teams will be divided into four groups in the 19th edition of the AFC U-16 Championship and have been seeded according to their final ranking from the last edition in Malaysia - with host Bahrain occupying the A1 position.
All eyes will be on three-time winners and defending champions Japan who are in Pot 1, alongside 2018 runners-up Tajikistan and Korea Republic who finished third in 2018.
Australia and DPR Korea, winners in 2010 and 2014, take their place in Pot 2 together with Indonesia as well as the 1996 and 2000 champions Oman.
Occupying Pot 3 are India and 2008 champions Islamic Republic of Iran, alongside 2002 runners-up Yemen and two-time winners Saudi Arabia while China PR, Uzbekistan, Qatar and United Arab Emirates are in the final pot as they make a return to the tournament after missing out on the last edition.
Meanwhile, the AFC U-19 Championship 2020 will see title holders Saudi Arabia in Pot 1 with hosts Uzbekistan, Korea Republic, the tournament’s most successful team with 12 titles, and Qatar.
Japan, who claimed their first-ever title in 2016, join Tajikistan and 2010 runners-up Australia in Pot 2 with the host for the upcoming FIFA U-20 World Cup, Indonesia, completing the line-up.
Malaysia and four-time winners Iraq have their names in Pot 3 together with Vietnam and Cambodia, who will be making their first appearance in the competition since 1974.
Four-time winners Islamic Republic of Iran, 2016 hosts Bahrain alongside debutants Yemen and Laos are in the final pot.
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