Asian Cup Draw Marks Official Start In Asia
Yesterday, January 1, marked a significant day for Australian football, with Football Federation Australia (FFA) officially becoming an official member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). On January 4, the 2007 Asian Cup draw will officially mark Australia's entry into Asia.
Yesterday, January 1, marked a significant day for Australian football, with Football Federation Australia (FFA) officially becoming an official member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Australia-s links with the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) will remain until the conclusion of its involvement at the FIFA 2006 World Cup Germany™, but on Wednesday (January 4) Australia-s involvement within the AFC will be official at the draw for the 2007 Asian Cup draw. Seeded 24th (Group D) due to its new status in the AFC, Australia will have a tough assignment to qualify for the finals, as it will face several Asian powerhouses in its group games. The Qualification Round will run from February to November 2006 with teams in each group meeting each other on a home and away basis. The top two from each of the six groups will qualify for the finals, which is being held across four countries. Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam all qualify for the finals automatically as co-hosts. The seedings for the draw are as follows (based on results of last Asian Cup): Pot A (seeds 1-6) 1. Japan, 2. China, 3. Iran, 4. Bahrain, 5. Uzbekistan, 6 Jordan. Pot B (seeds 7-12) 7. South Korea , 8. Iraq, 9. Oman, 10. Kuwait, 11. Saudi Arabia, 12. Qatar. Pot C (seeds 13-18) 13. UAE, 14. Yemen, 15. Syria, 16. Lebanon, 17. Singapore, 18. Hong Kong. Pot D (seeds 19-24) 19. Palestine, 20. Sri Lanka, 21. Chinese Taipei, 22. Bangladesh, 23. India, 24, Australia. Australia faces the possibility of an early meeting with its first 2006 World Cup opponent Japan, who is seeded one for the tournament after its victory in the 2004 Asian Cup. The first game will be played on February 22 away against the No. 1 seed in its group and followed by a second qualifier on March 1 in Australia against the No. 3 seed in its group.