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AFC Asian Cup final draw to be held on May 11 in Qatar

Final dates of the competition will be formalised after confirmation with FIFA

india football team igor stimac [File] India men's football head coach Igor Stimac | AIFF Twitter

The Asian Football Confederation on Friday announced that the final draw for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 will be held on May 11 at the Katara Opera House, in Doha, Qatar.

In a letter to all the Participating Member Associations (PMA), the AFC informed that Qatar will host the upcoming edition of the AFC Asian Cup with the proposed dates set between January 12 to February 10.

AFC invited the President of each PMA, head coach and team managers to attend the final draw.

The final dates of the competition will be formalised after confirmation with FIFA, it said.

Qatar had hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

Time we started planning ahead, says Stimac

Following the announcement, India head coach Igor Stimac said his team can now start planning for the road ahead.

"It's necessary we start discussing with other stakeholders as soon as possible, on how to organise the calendar for the upcoming season which will be enormous challenge for everyone," he said.

"Our priority is to get as much time as possible for preparation throughout December and January prior to the Asian Cup.

"We have a packed schedule this year with the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers, the Asian Games, and the FIFA windows for the Senior Team. It is necessary for us to plan early."

Stimac also wants to get the ball rolling for the Asian Cup right after the Final Draw.

"For now, we are planning to choose appropriate accommodation right after the draw, and also discuss possible friendly games before the tournament."

India will be participating in this event for a consecutive time.

Reigning champions Qatar stepped in to host the 18th edition of the AFC Asian Cup after China withdrew as hosts due to the rise in Covid-19 cases.

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