Jakarta: After 69 exciting qualifying games in October and November last year, the cast for the AFC U-19 Championship Indonesia 2018 will discover their group rivals, but first let’s look at some key facts and figures before the Final Draw takes place in Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday.
Who are the teams competing?
Indonesia will play host for the third time in tournament history, and is set to welcome 15 teams from across Asia. Here’s a quick recap of how the teams earned a spot in the prestigious tournament.
Australia, China PR, Japan, Korea Republic, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Qatar emerged as group winners, to seal automatic qualification to the AFC U-19 Championship 2018, followed by DPR Korea, Chinese Taipei, Iraq, Malaysia and Thailand, who clinched their spots to the Finals after finishing as the five best second placed teams.
What is at stake?
Indonesia, have won the prestigious title once - in 1961 - and will be counting on home support as they target to reign on home soil, while Korea Republic have won the championship a record 12 times since the tournament’s inception in 1959.
Iraq have claimed the title five times, followed by DPR Korea with three, along with Saudi Arabia and Thailand, who have each won twice.
China, Qatar, UAE and 2016 winners Japan have each been crowned champions once.
Australia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Vietnam, Chinese Taipei and Malaysia have yet to emerge champions.
Besides the AFC U-19 Championship Indonesia 2018 title, the tournament also serves as qualification to the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2019, with the top four teams sealing tickets to Poland next year.
Where is the Final Draw taking place?
The Final Draw will be held in Fairmont Jakarta Hotel, Indonesia.
When does it start?
The Final Draw will begin at 3pm (local time) on May 18.
The AFC U-19 Championship Indonesia 2018 Finals will be held from October 18 to November 4, with 31 intense and dynamic matches to be played over 18 days.
The 16 teams will be divided into four groups of four teams each, and each group shall play a one-round league.
The top teams from each group (eight teams in total) will qualify to the Knockout Stage (quarter-finals). The four winners of the quarter-finals will qualify to the semis, and will represent Asia as its top four ranked teams of the Championship at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019.
Ranking of teams
1. Indonesia (Host)
3. Saudi Arabia
7. Korea Republic
8. United Arab Emirates
11. China PR
13. DPR Korea
16. Chinese Taipei