The Asian Football Confederation today agreed a deal with the Swiss Avant-Garde watchmaker TAG Heuer to be the Official Timekeeper & Official Watch of the Asian Football Confederation’s national competitions including the AFC Asian Cup in 2019 & the Asian Qualifiers Final Round to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. TAG Heuer has a dynamic strategy of supporting football across the world and the support of Asian national competitions will start with the Asian Qualifiers Final round which begin on Thursday.
Jean-Claude Biver, TAG Heuer CEO & President of the LVMH Watch division said: “Football is the most popular sport in the world. Football is like a language between people or a religion. With football, we communicate passion, emotion, joy, dreams, team spirit, organization, strategy and finally victory, values that are also carried by our brand and more importantly by the people who buy and wear our watches.”
Dato Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary, said: “We are very glad to be working with TAG Heuer and they will be the professional and reliable timekeeper for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers Final Round. Every minute, every second can be vital in a football match and the AFC’s Vision and Mission is to enhance our competitions – and that includes with top brand partners.’
‘AFC’s competitions are growing in terms of competition and excitement, with more and more fans watching in the stadiums and on television and it is a testament to the strength of the game in Asia that we have agreed this partnership with TAG Heuer.’
The AFC Asian Cup, taking place in 2019 in UAE
The partnership includes the prestigious 17th edition of the AFC Asian Cup, the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Asia organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The United Arab Emirates was announced as the host for the tournament on 9 March 2015. It will be the second time that the United Arab Emirates hosts the tournament after the 1996 finals and Australia will be the defending champions going into the tournament, having won the previous competition in 2015. For the first time, the AFC Asian Cup will be contested by 24 teams. The host nation will automatically qualify for the final tournament, while the remaining 23 places will be determined among the other 45 national teams through a qualifying competition running from March 2015 to March 2018, in which the first two rounds also serve as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification process for the AFC.
“Road to Russia”
Also included the Asian Football Confederation’s Qualifiers Final Round which acts as qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, to be held in Russia for national teams which are members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The 46 FIFA-affiliated nations from the AFC entered qualification. The first game of the Asian Qualifiers Final Round kicked off in Australia on 1 Sept 2016. The third round of AFC matches for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification will be played from 1 September 2016 to 5 September 2017. A total of 12 teams which advanced from the second round (the eight group winners and the four best group runners-up) were divided into two groups of six teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The top two teams of each group will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the two third-placed teams will advance to theplayoff.
The contract between TAG Heuer and AFC comprises the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018, and the AFC Under-23 Championship 2020. As the most influential football association and the most significant organization for Asian football, AFC and the 4 competitions will officially be on time with TAG Heuer, on the field and on screen, fueling the passion and dreams of the people’s game with no boundary.
Founded in 1954, AFC is committed to the development of football in Asia, enhancing the friendship of the football countries in Asia. The strong partnership between TAG Heuer and AFC will ignite the avant-garde spirit of TAG Heuer to Asia in the most dynamic way possible. With the anticipation of the opening matches, Asian competitions are set to fire up every football fan’s passion for the game. Nationally and internationally renowned for maintaining the very highest levels and quality of play, the AFC is a global benchmark, as demonstrated by the teams in the Asian, Middle East, Australian competitions in recent years. As a result, it has built a global fan base, with supporters not only from Asia but also many countries around the region.
Just check how many games have been won at the last minute, or last seconds even. So you see how much time is sharp and can be decisive for victory.
Its exceptionally high standards and quality are only two of the characteristics which it shares with TAG Heuer, but these are not the only common values. Both partners boast extensive experience in their field, and trust in the importance of accuracy and precision in timekeeping. Every second counts both for the watch brand and for every player, as one minute can be decisive in turning over the scoreboard. With this new partnership, AFC is adopting the philosophy of the Swiss watch brand, summed up in its tagline Don’t Crack Under Pressure, to strengthen its teams and to ensure that they don’t crack under pressure even during the most stressful moments of each of the matches lined up next season.
(TAG Heuer Press Release)