By Abdelaziz Abuhamar
January 2 – Out of the 552 players in the Asian Cup 2019, to be staged in the United Arab Emirates from January 5 to February 1, about 75% are taking part in the Asian football showpiece for the first time.
According to #mundial11, some 415 players to appear in the AFC Asian Cup with their respective national teams for their first time while 137 players only featured in one or more previous editions of the continental tournament.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has enlarged the tournament from 16 to 24 national teams for the first time, starting from Asian Cup 2019 in the UAE.
In the 2015 edition of AFC Asian Cup, the host nation Australia won the title. The winner of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 will directly qualify for the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup.
The 24 national teams have now announced their final 23-man squads. Teams can replace their players from the final squad up to six hours prior to their first game, replacing from the registered 50 players in the preliminary list.
In the inaugral match of the AFC Asian Cup 2019, the United Arab Emirates will lock horns with Bahrain at the Zayed Sports City Stadium.
Contact the writer of this story, Abdelaziz Abuhamar, at moc.l1585785675labto1585785675ofdlr1585785675owedi1585785675sni@o1585785675fni1585785675