Doha, 10 May 2023 - Ten Arab teams await the AFC Asian Cup draw that will be drawn next Thursday at Katara Cultural Village amid great hopes and aspirations to present distinguished participation and reach far in the 20th edition of that big continental event.
The Arab teams participating in the tournament are Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE, Jordan, Palestine, and Bahrain. According to the draw classification for the teams participating in the tournament that will be held from Jan. 12 until Feb. 10, 2024, with the participation of 24 teams, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will be in pot 1; Iraq, UAE, Oman, and Jordan in pot 2; and Bahrain, Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon in pot 3.
The four Arab teams of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Syria managed to qualify for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup after topping their groups in the second round of the Asian qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the Asian Cup, while the teams of Iraq, Lebanon, and Oman secured their spots in the Asian Cup as best seconds in the same round of the qualifiers. Jordan, Palestine, and Bahrain joined the qualified Arab teams after topping their groups in the third and final round of the qualifiers.
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE hold the record of participation among the ten participating Arab teams, as the 2023 AFC Asian Cup will be the 11th participation for them. Saudi Arabia tops the Arab teams for winning the continental title three times in 1984, 1988, and 1996, in addition to playing the final on three other occasions, where they lost with the same result (0-1) in 1992 against Japan, 2000 against Japan, and 2007 against Iraq.
Qatar, the host country, managed to secure the title once in the last edition that was held in the UAE in 2019 after winning the final against Japan 3-1 and managed to qualify twice to the quarterfinals in 2000 in Lebanon and 2011 in Qatar.
The best results for the UAE were in the 11th edition when they hosted the tournament in 1996, when they came second after Saudi Arabia in the final match by penalty kicks, in addition to coming third in the 2015 edition.
As for the other Arab teams, Iraq will participate in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup for the 10th time. Iraq is one of the Arab teams that managed to win the title in the 2007 edition, which was held in four countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand) for the first time in the history of the tournament. Bahrain and Syria will participate for the 7th time.
The best result for Bahrain was when they came fourth in the 2004 edition, while Syria has never managed to pass the group stage in any of their previous six participations.
Jordan and Oman will mark their 5th participation seeking an unprecedented achievement as the best results for Jordan during their previous participations were reaching the quarterfinals twice in the 2004 and 2011 editions, while Oman made its best achievement in the last edition in 2019 by reaching the knockout stage after leaving the tournament from the group stage in their first three participations.
As for Lebanon and Palestine, they are the least participating teams in Asian Cup, as their qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in Doha will be their third. During their two previous participations, Lebanon and Palestine left early from the group stage.
While ten Arab teams await the 2023 AFC Asian Cup draw, Kuwait will be the major absentee, as it was the first Arab team to win the title in the 7th edition, held in Kuwait in 1980, after winning in the final match against South Korea 3-0.
Just as Arab teams shone brightly during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, when Morocco managed to reach the semifinals as the first Arab team ever to reach that stage in the history of the World Cup, and when Saudi Arabia and Tunisia managed to secure two victories over the champion, Argentina, and the runner-up, France; hopes are high for Doha to be, once again, on a date during the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, for Arab teams to leave their mark and show their colors in that continental event and secure the 7th title for Arabs after Kuwait in 1980; Saudi Arabia in 1984, 1988, and 1996; Iraq in 2007; and finally Qatar in 2019.