Things to Know about the AFC Asian Cup
Presently, the title of the AFC Asian Cup is held by the country ofQatar
Founded in 1956, the member countries of the Asian Football Confederation play the Asian Cup. The countries take part in this cup to become the champion nation of Asia. To put it in simple terms, the Asian Cup is equivalent to the Euro Cup and the Copa America tournaments. Although the tournament has a large number of followers, it is significantly lesser-known because, as we are all well aware, Asian football is still far from the quality and popularity of European football. Therefore, we have composed a list of facts about the Asian Cup for those football fans who know little about the age-old Asian tournament.
The first fact is likely to surprise a bulk of people. The AFC Asian Cup is the world’s second oldest continental football tournament after the famous Copa America.
The first edition of the AFC Asian Cup was held in Hong Kong and South Korea won the first title.
In the history of the tournament, Japan has been the most successful nation. The country has won four titles so far.
The tournament has witnessed only one nation picking up the trophy thrice in a row. The nation is Iran who won the title thrice in a row from 1968 to 1976.
Once upon a time, Israel used to take part in the AFC Asian Cup. The country won the trophy in 1976 but they were expelled from the federation. Later on, they joined the UEFA.
Until 2015, the AFC Asian Cup used to allow 16 nations only. However, the tournament allowed 24 nations to take part in the 2019 edition.
Apart from Japan and Iran, Saudi Arabia and South Korea have been the most successful teams in the tournament’s history. Saudi Arabia has won the tournament thrice and South Korea has won it twice.
In the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, video assistant referee (VAR) was used for the first time.
So far, the tournament has had two trophies. The first one used from 1956 to 2015. In 2019, a new trophy replaced the old one. Thomas Lyte made the new trophy.
Last but not least, the fastest goal in the tournament was scored in 14 seconds by Ali Mabkhout of the United Arab Emirates.