Asian Football Confederation

Asian Football Confederation

Infobox Organization
name = Asian Football Confederation

caption = AFC logo

mcaption = AFC members
motto = "The Future is Asia"
formation = 1954
type = Sports organization
headquarters = Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
membership = 46 member associations (from 4 regional federations)
leader_title = President
leader_name = Mohammed Bin Hammam
website =
The 46 member Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of football in Asia, excluding Cyprus and Israel, and including Australia.

The AFC was founded in 1954 in Manila, Philippines, and is one of FIFA's six continental confederations. (Nations with both European and Asian territory, such as Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and Russia, are instead covered by UEFA; Israel, which lies entirely in Asia, is also a UEFA member.) The main headquarters is located in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The current president is Mohammed Bin Hammam of Qatar.

AFC competitions

The latest champions of the AFC is Iraq. The AFC runs the Asian Cup, a competition for the national football teams of Asia held every four years, as well as the Asian World Cup Qualifying Tournament and the AFC Challenge Cup.It also runs the Asian Olympics Qualifying Tournament.The AFC also runs three levels of annual international club competitions. The most prestigious (and oldest of the current AFC club competitions) is the AFC Champions League tournament, based on the UEFA Champions League, formed in 2002/03 with the amalgamation of the "Asian Champions Cup" and the "Asian Cup Winners Cup". (An Asian Super Cup competition between the winners of these two major tournaments ended with the birth of the AFC Champions League.) The other competitions branched off this in 2004 when the 'Vision Asia' blueprint for development was launched. This led to the top fourteen AFC nations, the 'mature nations', sending their best teams to the AFC Champions League. The next 14 nations, the 'developing nations' qualify to send their teams to the AFC Cup.

The rest of the AFC-affiliated countries, the 'emerging nations' send their teams to the AFC President's Cup. The teams which qualify from each country are usually the champions and the cup winners [] . Currently there is no promotion and relegation between the different levels of nations.

The AFC is going to revamp 22 leagues in Asia, 10 of them by 2009-2012. This is due to the poor performance / absence of Asian teams in the 2006 World Cup. The reforms include: increasing transparency, increase competitiveness, improving training facilities and forcing the leagues to have a system of relegation and promotion. []

The 10 leagues marked for reform are: Australia, Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore, India, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The proposal would mark a radical change in Australia, where professional leagues in all sports are organised on a model of franchised teams and closed league membership, a system most commonly identified with North America.

There are 12 AFC Nations that play in the UAFA organised Arab Nations Cup. These nations are Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Women's football in Asia

The Asian Ladies Football Confederation (ALFC) is the section of the AFC who manage women's football in Asia. The group was independently founded in April 1968 in a meeting involving Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. In 1986 the ALFC merged with the AFC [] . The Asian Ladies Football Confederation helped organise the AFC Women's Asian Cup, first held in 1975, as well as the AFC's AFC U-19 Women's Championship and the AFC U-17 Women's Championship.


The AFC is split into four regions. [] Below shows how the national teams of Asia are split up by region (but are not necessarily part of their regional football federation). As a rule, because of cultural restrictions, only the ASEAN and East Asian regions field equivalent women's teams.

ASEAN Football Federation

*fb|East Timor

East Asian Football Federation

*fb|Hong Kong
*fb|Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)
*fb|North Korea
*fb|South Korea
*fb|Northern Mariana Islands (provisional)

West Asian Football Federation


*fb|Saudi Arabia
*fb|United Arab Emirates

Central and South Asian Football Federation

*fb|Sri Lanka*

"(*South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) members)"
"(^Central Asian Football Federation (CAFF) members)"


AFC tournaments

Regional tournaments

*ASEAN: ASEAN Football Championship (formerly known as the Tiger Cup prior to 2007)-
*Central Asia: Officially only 4 countries in this region (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Kazakhstan left for UEFA). No official tournament held between countries in this region.
*East Asia: East Asian Cup
*South Asia: South Asian Football Federation Cup
*West Asia: West Asian Football Federation Championship (Although not all West Asian Countries enter), Gulf Cup of Nations


Asian Footballer of the Year

The Asian Footballer of the Year award is presented to the best football player from Asia. Officially awarded since 1994. The official name is Asian Football Confederation's Sanyo Player of the Year Award. Prior to 1994 it was awarded on an unofficial basis. The winners from 1988 to 1991 were chosen by IFFHS.

Wins By Country

World Cup qualifiers

The following table shows the AFC representatives at each edition of the FIFA World Cup, sorted by number of appearances.

1Australia qualified in 2006 under the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC). From 1972 to 1978 they were not a member of any confederation.

2Israel is now a member of UEFA.

*1930 – None
*1934 – None
*1938Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia)
*1950India (however it withdrew from the World Cup after qualifying due to lack of funding for equipment and FIFA would not let them play barefoot)Fact|date=September 2008
*1954Korea Republic
*1958 – None
*1962 – None
*1966Korea DPR
*1970 – "Israel" (now a member of UEFA)
*1974 – None
*1986Iraq, Korea Republic
*1990Korea Republic, United Arab Emirates
*1994Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia
*1998Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia
*2002China PR, Japan, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia
*2006Australia (qualified as an OFC representative), Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia

Totals (current members)

* 7:
* 4:
* 3:
* 2:
fb|AUS" (qualified in 1974 while not a member of any confederation and in 2006 via the OFC, although they joined the AFC before the finals)"
* 1:
fb|IND "(withdrew after qualifying)"
fb|IDN "(as flagicon|Netherlands|size=16px Dutch East Indies)"
fb|ISR (incl. 1 as AFC member)


External links

* [ Official Website]
* [ Asian Champions League Website]
* [ Asian Cup website]
* [ AFC Women's Asian Cup and AFC U-19 Women's Championship]
* [ Asian women's football history]
* [ - article on ranking systems for AFC club competitions]
* [ Unofficial Asian Football Forum]

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