Tuesday, 11 December 2012 19:43
Kuala Lumpur: Forty-six nations learned their opponents in the continent’s new national competition, AFC U-14 Championship 2014, after the official draw for next year’s qualifiers was conducted at AFC House on Tuesday.
The 46 teams were divided into four zones (West, Central and South, ASEAN and East) with 12 of the teams coming from West Asia, 13 from Central and South, 11 teams from ASEAN and 10 teams from the East.
Since there were 13 teams from the Central and South zone, the AFC has decided to move Bangladesh to the ASEAN zone as it is geographically the nearest to Southeast Asia.
The participating teams were drawn into eight groups with the West, Central and South as well as ASEAN regions each having two groups of six teams each, while the East region has two groups of five teams each.
The top two teams from each zone, totalling eight teams, will qualify to the AFC U-14 Championship 2014 Finals.
Myanmar and China will host the ASEAN and East regions respectively while Oman, Saudi Arabia, Nepal and Iran will be the venue of their respective groups.
The West zone’s Group A will have its qualifying matches from February 3 to 15, while the qualifying campaign for Group B will take place from February 26 to March 10. The dates for the other regions’ qualifiers will be determined later.
AFC U-14 Championship 2014 qualifying draw
Group A: Oman (hosts), Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and UAE.
Group B: Saudi Arabia (hosts), Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Palestine and Yemen.
Central and South
Group C: Nepal (hosts), Bhutan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Maldives and Afghanistan.
Group D: Iran (hosts), Pakistan, India, Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan.
Group E: Myanmar (hosts), Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Timor Leste.
Group F: Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Singapore and Cambodia.
Group G: China (hosts), Northern Mariana Islands, Korea Republic, Chinese Taipei and Guam.
Group H: Mongolia, Hong Kong, DPR Korea, Macau and Japan.