KUALA LUMPUR: A trip to the AFC U23 championship, to be held in Thailand in 2020, will start in March next year, when qualifications for the prestigious event will start around the Asian continent.
The official ceremony for the qualification stages took place at the AFC House in the capital of Malaysia yesterday.
Qatar will host Group A as it strives for third place in the AFC U23 final. They will face the challenges of Oman, Nepal and Afghanistan.
The qualifiers divided 44 teams into two West (South + Central) regions with 24 teams and East (East + Asean) with 20 teams.
Group B host, Bahrain, will be the fourth attempt to qualify for the finals when it comes to Palestine, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, the host country for group C, will prove strongly against the early champions in Iraq, Turkmenistan and Yemen.
Saudi Arabia, which will be at the end of the 2013 competition, will strive to improve its best result after failing to advance past the group stage of January. Group D. hosts United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Maldives.
Kuwait was one of the first teams to take part in the first round of the AFC U23 in 2013 and will compete for the return to the finals when they face the opponents of Jordan, Syria and the Kyrgyz Republic in Group E.
First-class champions and country of host Uzbekistan will start their defensive defense against Tajikistan, India and Pakistan in group F. Mongolia will count on domestic support when hosting the G group and heading towards DPR Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Cambodia has not reached the final yet, but they are determined to be thrilled to welcome Korea, Australia and Chinese Taipei in group H.
After two missing editions, host I of Myanmar will play against the winners in 2016 in Japan, Timor-Leste and Macau.
Group J host Malaysia, for the first time in the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time in its history of January, hosted China PR, Laos and the Philippines.
Vietnam, who finished the 2018 edition, returns to qualifications as the host of Group K, where they will meet Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam.
11 group winners and four best other teams set up among all teams will qualify for the finals, with host country finals receiving an automatic qualification.
In the event that the host Finals, Thailand finishes between qualified teams in the finals (either at the top of the group or in one of the four best secondary teams), the next (fifth) ranking in the group on a scale among all teams will qualify for the finals.
The qualifications for 2020 will be held from 22 to 26 March 2019.