Doha, 3 December 2022 - The President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa praised the distinguished performance of Asian teams in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
He expressed his sincere wishes for the teams of Australia, Japan and South Korea to continue with their success and brilliance, especially having broken a historic record whereby three Asian teams qualified to the round of 16 for the first time in the history of the World Cup.
Al-Khalifa said in a statement published by the AFCs official website today, that the Asian football family stands together in support of the three teams, hoping that they will continue to present the Asian continent's best performance since the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan.
The AFC President also praised the distinguished levels presented by all six Asian teams during the group stage, including the teams that were knocked out of the competition in the first round, after having given impressive performances against some of the best teams in the world.
He continued that a case in point would be Saudi Arabia and Japans playing against Argentina and Germany, respectively in the group stage. Both teams presented a resilient character and succeeded in overturning their delay in scoring, to finally succeed in giving football fans all over the world a strong comeback that is considered among the most prominent in World Cup modern history.
Al-Khalifa added that the Japanese national football team repeated the same act in its match against Spain, booking its qualification ticket to the round of 16 for the fourth time, whilst Australia achieved its second victory for the first time in the history of its participation in the World Cup.
The AFC President elaborated that the South Korean national football team was able to overturn its delay to achieve victory against Portugal in the third set of matches, arriving at a historic achievement of having three Asian teams in the Round of 16 for the first time. Al-Khalifa said that the Korean Football Association (KFA) deserves all appreciation for its efforts to develop the game at all levels.
Al-Khalifa remarked that Qatar succeeded in performing fairly well in its first appearance in World Cup finals, in addition to the Iranian national football team who proved itself by winning against Wales during the second round.
He added that the AFCs vision and mission framework in 2016 focused on the clear ambitions to ensure that Asian squads possess the appropriate conditions and capacities to compete, in world-class level AFC championships, as well as to present themselves in the best manner during international tournaments, with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 serving as a proof of Asian footballs evolution.
The AFC President also praised the successful conclusion of the group stage competitions, expressing his confidence that the tournament will continue to leave a clear mark in the realm of football, saying that the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) and the Qatari authorities, along with FIFA, have done an exceptional job so far. He also expressed his confidence that they will continue to organize a great tournament as time passes.