August 22 – The AFC has switched the opening game and final of the Asian Cup 2023, to be played in Qatar in Jan-Feb 2024, to the iconic 88,000-capacity Lusail Stadium, the venue for the final of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Hosts Qatar, the current Asian Cup champions, kick off the tournament against Lebanon on January 12. At the 2022 World Cup Lusail hosted 10 matches.
Qatar will play their second group game in the 68,895-capacity Al Bayt Stadium. Al Bayt was to be the original venue for the opening and closing games of the Asian Cup. The Qataris third group game will be at the 45,857-capacity Khalifa International Stadium.
Local organisers will use nine venues to host the 24-team Asian Cup finals. This will be the third time Qatar has hosted Asia’s blue riband national men’s team finals.
The Lusail Stadium will be one of the largest match venues in AFC Asian Cup history behind Tehran’s Aryamehr Stadium, which seated 100,000 spectators during the 1976 final between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Kuwait, and the 88,083-capacity Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta that hosted seven matches in 2007.
Including Lusail, seven of the stadiums being used hosted games at the 2022 World Cup: Al Janoub Stadium, Al Bayt Stadium, Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Education City Stadium, and Khalifa International Stadium.
The other two stadiums to be used for the Asian Cup are the 13,030-capacity Jassim bin Hamad Stadium and the 10,000-capacity Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium.
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