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Asian Cup Guide: When is it, where is it, who’s playing, how can I watch it?


asian cup 2023

Asia’s most prestigious international tournament, the Asian Cup, is back for its 18th run, with the ‘2023’ instalment promising to be one of its best… even if it’s not quite happening in 2023.

24 sides will converge on the Middle East with one aim and one aim only: to win it all.

In bygone editions of the competition, we’ve seen Ange Postecoglou’s Australian side overcome a 91st-minute Heung-Min Son equaliser to win in 2015 on home soil, and Japanese dominance in the 2000s and early 2010s, winning three of a possible four Asian Cups.

But, like most things in football, only one winner can crowned at the end of a gruelling tournament and return home, glazed in glory and adorned as national heroes. Who exits 2023 with this honour remains to be seen.

But for now, here’s everything you need to know about the 2023 Asian Cup.

A-League expansion | Graham Arnold, Asian Cup
Australian coach, Graham Arnold, will be hoping his side has enough to win the 2023 Asian Cup

Your complete Guide to the 2023 Asian Cup

Where is the tournament being held?

After original hosts China were stripped of hosting honours in 2022, a second round of bidding to host the tournament opened. 

Following this, the 2023 Asian Cup, like the 2022 World Cup, was awarded to Qatar. Five cities in the Gulf state: Al Khor, Lusail, Al Rayyan, Doha, and Al Wakrah will open their doors to competitors and fans from all across Asia. 

When is the Asian Cup?

12 January 2024 — 10 February 2024

Initially slated to be hosted by China in June/July of 2023, the AFC ruled to strip China of hosting rights due to COVID-19 related circumstances. 

When Qatar was bestowed with hosting duties, the tournament’s dates duly changed from a mid-year 2023 slot to 12 January 2024 through to 10 February 2024. Despite these new dates, the AFC opted to keep the tournament as the 2023 Asian Cup, rather than label it as 2024.

How can I watch the tournament?

The entire tournament will be available to stream via Paramount+, with every single Socceroos match shown live and free on Network 10.

Who is competing?

For the second tournament running, the competition will comprise of six groups of four teams, which are as follows:

Group A: Qatar, China, Tajikistan, Lebanon

Group B: Australia, Uzbekistan, India, Syria

Group C: UAE, Iran, Hong Kong, Palestina

Group D: Japan, Indonesia, Iraq, Vietnam

Group E: South Korea, Malaysia, Jordan, Bahrain

Group F: Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Oman, Kyrgyzstan  

Who are the tournament favourites?


Anyone who assesses the field and concludes that anyone other than Japan is the tournament favourite needs better sources. 

The Japanese have the strongest squad by far. Both Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu and Liverpool’s Wataru Endo are competing for Premier League and European glory, and provide a strong defensive base for the rest of the side to operate from.

Joining him in Japan’s attacking ranks are Takumi Minamino from Monaco, a delight on his day, and Real Sociedad’s Takefusa Kubo, one of the world’s finest young wingers.

They’re a truly frightening prospect for any international side, let alone their Asian confederation counterparts, and we haven’t even mentioned Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate of Celtic, or Lazio’s exceptional creative midfielder, Daichi Kamada.


A Heung-Min Son-led South Korean side is also one of Asia’s most dangerous propositions. Under Ange Postecoglou, the forward has refound his scoring form this Premier League season, and his presence alone threatens to derail his opposition’s plans before they’re hatched. 

He’s joined by a supporting cast of Kim Min Jae, an absolute rock at the back for Bayern Munich who was a pivotal cog in Napoli’s first Serie A title in a generation during the 2022-23 season. Expect the defender’s effortless ball movement and relentless defensive intensity to form a core component of Korea’s title push.

Alongside Min Jae and Son is PSG’s Kang-In Lee, a creative force still finding his way in the French capital but who, on his day, can flip matches on their head with a single dribbling sequence or defence-splitting pass.


Of course, it would be remiss to dismiss the Socceroos, who make up for their lack of individual class with a collective buy-in to a pragmatic, yet effective, identity that inspired their run to the 2022 World Cup round of 16. 

Reigning champions and hosts Qatar could also cause problems, though it depends on whether their demoralising showing at the most recent World Cup still haunts them or not. 

Socceroos Asian Cup 2024 Guide
The Socceroos will hope they’ll be celebrating similar come the end of the Asian Cup

Three-time champions Saudi Arabia showed in the group stages of the 2022 World Cup that on their day they can match, and defeat, the world champions, and with serial winner Roberto Mancini at the helm anything is possible. 

Of course, Iran and Iraq are always capable of disrupting these tournaments and should never be counted out.

Picture of Kyle Robbins
Kyle Robbins
Kyle is a senior sports writer and producer at Only Sports who lives and breathes sport, with a particular burning passion for everything soccer, rugby league, and cricket. You’ll most commonly find him getting overly hopeful about the Bulldogs and Chelsea’s prospects. Find Kyle on LinkedIn.

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