Soccer, often known as football, is one of the most popular sports in the world, and it is certain to remain so as the activity grows in popularity. More opportunities have arisen because of a global recognition of the value of sports, professions in sports, and the endless talent that a diverse range of individuals possess, particularly in soccer, with soccer tournaments becoming more popular. In Asia, soccer has become a well known and loved sport. With having said that, Asia was one of the first countries to pay attention to soccer by starting their own confederation. For an academic information about this topic, you can check this article.
Asian Football Confederation.
The Asian Football Confederation, or AFC for short, is one of FIFA’s confederations. FIFA is made up of five other confederations. The AFC, which has 47 member countries, largely controls football in Asia and Australia. The AFC was founded in Manila, Philippines, in 1954, however it is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The goal is to become the world’s foremost confederation and to encourage Asian teams to compete
Asian Cup and it’s history
The Asian Cup has a history of more than six decades and is intended to continue if people love the sport. In 1956, the inaugural Asian Cup event was held, and it was determined that one would be held every four years thereafter. With the final match of 2019, the AFC has kept true to that decision. The Asian Cup is attended by most the AFC’s member countries. Only a small number of teams, however, have consistently dominated competitions. After winning the Asian Cup and being honored as champions across Asia, the victorious teams immediately qualify for the FIFA Confederations Cup.
The first Asian Cup
The first Asian Cup was held in 1956 in Hong Kong. Even though it was the first of its kind, it was an immediate success with football fans. Against Israel, the South Korean team came out on top. During this competition, the original Asian Cup trophy was unveiled and shared around the winning teams until 2019.
Memorable Asian Cups throughout the years
The 1984 Asian Cup
This particular year was memorable because it was the first Asian Cup where 10 countries competed and divided into five groups. In this final, it was the first time that Saudi Arabia defeated China in the final.
The 2004 Asian Cup
China hosted the Asian Cup in 2004. The final match was between China and Japan, with Japan taking a well-deserved victory. Outside the stadium, Chinese fans erupted in riots, displaying anti-Japanese sentiments.
Although it is not exactly Asian, the World Cup is very famous in Asia, particularly in Japan. This competition that comes every four (4) years. Japan is one of the teams competing for this famous cup this year, specifically in Group E. Group E will run from November 23 through December 1, 2022. Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, and Japan make up the group. You can find more information about World Cup here.
The Asian Cup has never been afraid to move their tournament dates around. It has always considered the climate of its host countries, announcing dates depending on weather conditions that would allow for a comfortable match setting.
These changes are uncommon in the Asian Cup, but the most significant one occurred after the 2004 tournament. The Asian Cup followed a four-year cycle that coincided with the Summer Olympics and the European Football Championship. As a result, it was suggested that the Asian Cup be relocated to a less congested venue. The following Asian Cup was held three years after the previous one in 2004, and the four-year cycle was restarted after the 2007 Cup.
The Asian Cup’s illustrious past is evident, and it is the consequence of several team efforts both on and off the field. It has changed the face of football in Asia, a region where sports careers aren’t always looked up to. It will keep doing so to encourage more people to pursue their soccer goals.