AFC and Qatar 2023 LOC reiterate ambitions to stage grandest Continental spectacle
Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) successfully concluded a two-day visit by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ on Thursday, as preparations continue apace for the Continental showpiece.
Headed by CEO Jassim Abdulaziz Al Jassim, the six-member LOC delegation arrived in Malaysia’s capital city on Wednesday morning and proceeded to meet their AFC counterparts, led by AFC Deputy General Secretary – Competitions and Football, Shin Man Gil, in the afternoon.
Teams learn Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 opponents
Kuala Lumpur: The stage is set for Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027™ following the draw at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday.
The 36 sides were drawn into nine groups of four, and they will compete against each team in a home-and-away round-robin format, between November 2023 and June 2024.
Ten of the Round 2 teams will progress from Round 1 of the Preliminary Joint Qualification, with the draw conducted earlier on Thursday. As there will be 48 teams – a first – at the FIFA World Cup 2026, eight and a half slots are on offer for the Continent’s national teams.
AFC General Secretary meets with Asia’s leading head coaches
Kuala Lumpur: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) General Secretary Datuk Seri Windsor John met with some of the Continent's most renowned head coaches at the sidelines of the official draw ceremonies of the Preliminary Joint Qualifier Round 1 and Round 2 of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027™, which was held at the AFC House on Thursday.
Amongst the luminary head coaches were China PR's technician Aleksandar Jankovic, Malaysia's Korea Republic tactician Kim Pan Gon, as well as AFC Asian Cup™ Lebanon 2000 title-winning coach Philippe Troussier who was recently appointed to lead Vietnam. The Socceroos' all-time men's leading scorer Tim Cahill, who clinched the AFC Asian Cup™ title with Australia on home soil in 2015, was also in attendance.
Kuala Lumpur: The draw for the Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027™ was completed at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday.
A total 20 teams were divided into 10 pairings, with each pair to play one home and one away match on October 12 and 17, 2023 respectively.
Kerr to be given until last minute to prove fitness
Brisbane: Australia's captain Sam Kerr will be given until the last minute to prove her fitness for their must-win FIFA Women's World Cup clash against Canada on Monday, head coach Tony Gustavsson says.
The prolific striker missed Australia's opening two games - a 1-0 win over Ireland and Thursday's shock 3-2 loss to Nigeria - with a calf injury.
With the co-hosts' hopes of reaching the last 16 now in jeopardy, Gustavsson is desperate to have the Chelsea forward available.