Single-elimination system to be introduced in 2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will set the single-elimination format in the third round of the 2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers which will be held next year due to the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The third round was originally scheduled from February to September 2022, but postponed from 8 to 14 June, 2022 due to the pandemic.
The tournament was previously scheduled to be played at home and away system.
With new single-elimination format, tourney will be completed within a week, official said.
The third round will be divided into four groups of six teams, with the top five teams from each group and the top five runners-up will advance to the next stage.
Twenty-four teams, including Myanmar, will compete in the third round qualifiers.
Asian teams including Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Palestine, India, Tajikistan, Thailand, the Philippines, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Jordan, Turkmenistan, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Yemen, Maldives, Singapore, Nepal, Indonesia, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Cambodia will compete in the tourney.
The final round of the 2023 Asian Cup will be held with a total of 24 teams.
Top eight teams in the group and the top four runners-up: Qatar, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Oman, Vietnam, UAE, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia including China, which will host the finals will be able to advance directly to the finals without having to compete in the third round.—Ko Nyi Lay/GNLM

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