AFC U23 Championship

AFC U23 Championship

The AFC U23 Championship is also called the AFC U23 Asian Cup. This tournament that caters to international teams across the continent.

The Asian Football Federation is in charge of organizing this event. The first iteration was held in 2013, having hosted qualifying matches to gain entry into the tournament during 2012. However, there was a postponement to the actual tournament because of the EAFF East Asian Cup. Therefore, the first renewal ended up taking place in January 2014.

It is hosted every couple of years. Those events that take place during the Olympics years also act as qualifiers to the AFC U23 Championship. The event takes place in January for each iteration.

The format of the AFC U23 Championship

As part of the AFC U23 Championship, there are 16 teams in total that are taking part. The host country will also get automatic qualification into the tournament. Seedings are given to the teams based on previous tournaments that they have taken part in. Usually, the AFC U23 Championship is completed in a little under three weeks from start to finish.

Usually, the AFC U23 Championship takes place across one or two cities, with three or four stadiums being used to host the games. There is a group stage, with the leading two teams from each of the groups then proceeding into the quarter-finals. At the end of the tournament, awards are given out to the top scorer, the most valuable player, the best goalkeeper, as well as the issuance of a fair play award.

The history of the AFC U23 Championship

The decision to create the AFC U23 Championship was to help develop young players across Asian, exposing them to international football at a level under senior. The final tournament was supposed to take place in 2013, but it was pushed out to January 2014.

This first-ever iteration of the AFC U23 Championship was hosted by Oman and it was won by Iraq. They defeated Saudi Arabia in the final on a scoreline of 1-0. Jordan was victorious in the third-place play-off, defeating South Korea.

For the 2016 AFC U23 Championship, Japan beta South Korea in the final in an exciting game that ended 3-2. Iraq took third place after defeating Qatar, the host nation. The 2018 renewal was in China and it saw Uzbekistan winning the final, beating Vietnam.

Qatar beat South Korea to claim third place. For the 2020 AFC U23 Championship, Thailand played host to the games, with South Korea winning the title after extra time, defeating Saudi Arabia. Australia took third place after beating Uzbekistan.

Role in the Summer Olympics

Since 1992, the Summer Olympics that take place every four years only allow players who are under 23 years old. There is a rule in place that allows teams to have three players that are at least 23 years old.

The creation of the Championship was done with an aim to make teams in the region be more competitive in the Summer Olympics, as well as for player development reasons.

The same eligibility rules apply in the AFC U23 Championship and it is a great way for players to get their teeth cut at this level, providing them with good preparation for the Summer Olympics. There is also the incentive that the top three finishing teams in the tournament will gain entry into the 2020 Summer Olympics. Therefore, teams were even more incentivized to do well.

Betting on the Championship at

With the Championship taking place every couple of years, it is an event that will be supported by most major betting sites. This is of particular interest to bettors from the region who are looking to put their in-depth knowledge of these teams to the test with their betting. You will find a nice range of different markets for the tournament. As well as for the games that make up the AFC U23 Championship.

At, you can quickly see which betting sites support betting on the Championship, allowing you to see what the best options are for you if you are looking to place some bets on these games.

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