Dubai: The end of January concluded one of the most exciting winter transfer windows in recent times across the world, and Asian football was no exception.
Whether it was replacing injured players, plugging defensive gaps, or boosting their squads ahead of a title charge or a relegation battle, clubs in West Asia were busy throughout the month. The-AFC.com looks at some of the key moves across the region this winter.
Transfer Wrap: Big names on the move (ASEAN & East)
Kuala Lumpur: It’s been a busy month in the world of transfers across Asia with big names swapping clubs domestically as well as moving between countries and continents.
With a number of clubs signing players ahead of the kick-off to their 2023 campaigns and others looking to bolster their squads mid-season, the-AFC.com highlights some of the most notable moves involving teams from the East and ASEAN regions in recent weeks.
Hanoi: The 2023 V.League 1 gets underway on Friday with a host of clubs who consider themselves genuine title contenders set to battle it out to become champions of Vietnam.
Hanoi FC won their third title since 2018 and sixth in total when they finished ahead of the chasing pack last time out to also qualify for the AFC Champions League™ group stage for the first time.
But Hai Phong FC and Binh Dinh finished just three and four points adrift respectively while others, including the 2020 champions Viettel FC, will believe they have what it takes to challenge in the campaign ahead.
Sydney: A 25-player Australia squad has been named by head coach Tony Gustavsson to contest the 2023 Cup of Nations to be hosted across New South Wales later this month.
The six-match tournament - which will also feature Spain, Jamaica and Czech Republic - will kick-off in Gosford on February 16 with Matchday 2 in Sydney three days later before the Cup of Nations concludes on February 22 in Newcastle.
Re-elected AFC President Shaikh Salman lauds Asian unity
Manama: The 33rd Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Congress held in Manama, Bahrain, on Wednesday, has re-elected Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, who was the sole candidate, as the Confederation’s President by acclamation for a third four-year term until 2027.
Shaikh Salman, who took over as the 10th AFC President in 2013, was re-elected unopposed as the AFC President and FIFA Vice-President in 2015, before being appointed as the FIFA Senior Vice-President in 2018. In 2019, the Bahraini was re-elected once again unopposed to both positions for a four-year term.
AFC Executive Committee and Asia’s FIFA Council members confirmed
Manama: The 33rd Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Congress concluded on Wednesday in Manama, Bahrain, with the AFC’s Member Associations electing a new-look AFC Executive Committee for the term 2023 to 2027.
The AFC’s six representatives who will serve on the FIFA Council for the next four years were also confirmed. Together with the AFC President, Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, who is also the FIFA Senior Vice President, the AFC will have seven members on the FIFA Council.
Meanwhile, new elections for the positions, which remained vacant after this Congress, will be held at a later date.
Saudi Arabia confirmed as hosts of the AFC Asian Cup 2027™
Manama: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Member Associations have today confirmed the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) as the host association for the AFC Asian Cup 2027™ at the 33rd AFC Congress held in Manama, Bahrain.
The landmark decision marks the first time Asia’s crown jewel will be staged in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose national side rank as amongst the best performers in the tournament’s history, having clinched the coveted Continental crown on three occasions – in 1984, 1988 and 1996.