Doha, 19 December 2022 - With the Qatar 2022 World Cup now complete, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa praised the hosting capabilities of Qatar in delivering the first World Cup in the Arab world and the second in Asia.
The AFC will return to Qatar in January 2024 for its blue riband Asian Cup 2023. Qatar stepped in to fulfil the hosting of the 24-team event following the withdrawal of China.
“On behalf of the Asian football family, I must express my heartfelt appreciation to the Qatar Football Association, the Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the Qatari Government and FIFA for writing a new chapter in the history of world football,” said Salman, who congratulated Argentina on their win.
“Qatar provided an unrivalled stage. We showed the world that this was indeed Asia’s time, and I am heartened to note that Asia and Qatar delivered on its promise. Now we hand the baton to Canada, Mexico and the United States and I know they will build on the solid foundations laid by Qatar.”
For the AFC, Qatar 2022 had some notable success with three teams qualifying for the knockout rounds for first time and its nations – Japan and Korea in particular – producing some remarkable comebacks against traditional European powerhouses.
AFC match officials also made a contribution with referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim from Qatar, alongside assistant referees and fellow Qataris Taleb Al Marri and Saoud Ahmed Almaqaled officiating the third-place playoff between Croatia and Morocco.
“Before the start of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, our collective aspirations, as underlined in the AFC’s Vision and Mission, was for our Asian teams and match officials to produce the performance of a lifetime, and I am truly pleased by their outstanding efforts,” said Salman.
“For the first time in the history of world football, Asia had three teams in the Knockout Stage and all credit must go to the AFC’s Member Associations for raising the standard of Asian football. Our duty now must be focused on building on this strong momentum over the next four years.”