China is to compete with Iran, Uzbekistan and Malaysia in Group C
of the AFC Asian Cup 2007 Finals.
Following the draw made in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center on
Tuesday, China will meet Malaysia on July 10, 2007, Iran on July
15, and Uzbekistan on July 18.
Australia, Iran, Japan and South Korea were named as the four
seeds for the 2007 Asian Cup draw according to the FIFA world
rankings, with Asian newcomers Australia now the region's
top-ranked team after climbing to 38th, the Asian Football
Confederation (AFC) said on Tuesday.
Australia face a potentially tricky task, needing to get past
Iraq, Oman and Thailand in Group A while powerhouse Japan have been
slotted in a tough Group B with Qatar, United Arab Emirates and
In Group D Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Bahrain and Indonesia will
As the Asian Cup 2007 Finals will be co-hosted by Indonesia,
Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, the four teams automatically
qualify for the finals.
The AFC's s biggest competition will kick off on July 7, 2007,
in Bangkok with Thailand taking on Iraq in Group A. The top-two
teams from each group qualify for the quarterfinals which are
scheduled for July 21 and 22. The semifinals will take place on
July 25 with final to be held in Jakarta on July 29.
Four former best players of Asia, Hidetoshi Nakata (Japan), Fan
Zhiyi (China), Mohesin Al Jamaan (Saudi Arabia) and Kim Joo-sung
(South Korea, graced the ceremony with their presence.
Fan Zhiyi (L), former player of China national
football team and Dato' Peter Velappan, former AFC General
Secretary are at the draw for the Asian Cup finals.
In other soccer news, Asia may lose its automatic right to host
the 2018 World Cup under a plan being considered by FIFA.
The world governing body was considering scrapping its policy of
rotating the tournament between its regions after the 2014 event in
South America, Sepp Blatter said on Sunday, which means the 2018
tournament could be thrown open to worldwide bidding and China's
hope of hosting the global soccer gala would instantly be
The FIFA's executive committee will make a decision after
deciding who will host in 2014.
AFC Asian Cup 2007 finals draw:
C2 IR Iran
C4 China PR
D2 Korea Republic
D3 Saudi Arabia
(Xinhua News Agency December 20, 2006)