Asia’s brightest young talents will discover their road to Continental glory when the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022™ official draw ceremony is staged in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on February 17 at 12pm (local time).
The tournament, which is a platform to unearth future Asian stars, will be staged in Central Asia for the first time, with Uzbekistan hosting 32 matches across the cities of Tashkent and Karshi from June 1 to 19.
Previous editions of the AFC U-23 Asian Cup™ have launched the careers of many young footballers including Mehdi Taremi from the Islamic Republic of Iran, who currently plays for Porto, AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ winner and top goal scorer Almoez Ali of Qatar and Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino, and a new generation of stars are poised to emerge in 2022.
With their places secured in last year’s qualifiers, 16 teams will discover their group stage opponents in Thursday’s draw, representing a thrilling cross-section of the world’s largest football Continent.
Among the qualified teams are four former champions and nine teams to have reached the Semi-finals or better within the last decade, while Tajikistan and Turkmenistan will appear at the finals for the first time.
With the exception of hosts and number one seeds Uzbekistan, the teams will be seeded based on their positions in the AFC U-23 Championship Thailand 2020™, which was won by Korea Republic.
Uzbekistan and Korea Republic will be seeded in Pot 1 alongside Saudi Arabia and Australia, who finished second and third respectively at Thailand 2020.
Pot 2 will feature Jordan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and IR Iran, while Iraq, Qatar, Vietnam and Japan will occupy Pot 3, and the quartet of Tajikistan, Malaysia, Kuwait and Turkmenistan will be drawn from Pot 4.
As hosts, Uzbekistan will be placed in position A1 in the final draw, with each group to feature one team from each Pot, with the teams from Pot 4 to be drawn first.