Asian Football Confederation (AFC)
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is a governing body of association football, beach soccer, and futsal in some countries/territories in Asia and Oceania. It has 47 member countries most of which are located in Asia. Australia, formerly in OFC, joined AFC in 2006. Guam, a territory of the United States, and the Northern Mariana Islands, 1 of the 2 commonwealths of the United States are also AFC members that are geographically in Oceania.
It was founded on 7 May 1954 in Manila, Philippines. Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), Republic of China, Hong Kong, Iran, India, Israel, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Malaysia and South Vietnam were founding members. The Asian Ladies Football Confederation (ALFC) is the section of AFC who manage women’s association football in Asia. The group was independently founded in April 1968 in a meeting involving Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. In 1986 ALFC merged with AFC.
Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
President: Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa
Founded: May 8, 1954, Manila, Philippines
Membership: 47 member associations
Parent organization: FIFA
Subsidiaries: AFF (Southeast Asia); CAFA (Central Asia); EAFF (East Asia); SAFF (South Asia); WAFF (Western Asia)
- AFC Asian Cup
- AFC Solidarity Cup
- FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)
- AFC Asian Cup qualification
- Asian Games men’s football tournament
- AFC U-23 Asian Cup
- AFC U-20 Asian Cup
- AFC U-17 Asian Cup
- Asian Youth Games boys’ football tournament
- AFC Futsal Asian Cup
- Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games men’s futsal tournament
- AFC U-20 Futsal Asian Cup
- AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup
- Asian Beach Games men’s beach soccer tournament
- AFC Women’s Asian Cup
- Asian Games women’s football tournament
- AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament
- AFC U-20 Women’s Asian Cup
- AFC U-17 Women’s Asian Cup
- AFC Women’s Futsal Asian Cup
- Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games women’s futsal tournament
AFC runs the AFC Asian Cup and the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, and the AFC Solidarity Cup replace AFC Challenge Cup for a country that has few chances to play in the Asian Cup. The 3 tournaments are held every 4 years. AFC organises the AFC Futsal Asian Cup, AFC Women’s Futsal Asian Cup, AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup, various age-level international association football, youth futsal tournaments and the Asian qualifying tournament for the FIFA World Cup and for football at the Summer Olympics.
- AFC Champions League
- AFC Cup
- AFC Futsal Club Championship
- AFC Women’s Club Championship
The top-ranked AFC tournament for association football clubs is the AFC Champions League which started in the 2002–03 season (an amalgamation of the Asian Club Championship and the Asian Cup Winners’ Cup) and gathers the top 1–4 teams of each country (the number of teams depend on that country’s ranking and can be upgraded or downgraded); this tournament only gathered teams from top country. And AFC Women’s Club Championship for women’s association football club competition.
A 2nd, lower-ranked tournament is the AFC Cup which was launched by AFC in 2004. A 3rd tournament, the AFC President’s Cup which had started in 2005 was absorbed into the AFC Cup in 2015.
AFC runs an annual Asian futsal club tournament, the AFC Futsal Club Championship for futsal club competition.
- AFC Challenge Cup
- Afro-Asian Cup of Nations
- AFC–OFC Challenge Cup
- AFC U-14 Championship
- AFC U-14 Girls’ Regional Championship
- Asian Cup Winners’ Cup
- Asian Super Cup
- AFC President’s Cup
- Afro-Asian Club Championship
FIFA World Rankings
FIFA Men’s Rankings (as of 31 March 2022)
Team of the Year
Teams ranking in the top four – Men’s
Club Competitions Ranking
The AFC Club Competitions Ranking ranks its member associations by results in the AFC competitions. Rankings are calculated by AFC. Listed here are the top 30 countries.
Beach soccer national teams
Rankings are calculated by Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWW).
Per 16 May 2022:
a number between brackets is the rank of the previous week. (*)= Provisional ranking (played at least 10 matches) (**)= Inactive for more than 24 months
AFC Champions League
In 2020 AFC Champions League, the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran received a letter from AFC on 17 January 2020 announcing that teams from Iran would not be allowed to host their home matches in their country due to security concerns. The 4 AFC Champions League teams from Iran announced on 18 January 2020 that they would withdraw from the tournament if the ban was not reversed. AFC announced on 23 January 2020 that any group stage matches which the Iranian teams were supposed to host on matchdays 1, 2 and 3 would be switched with the corresponding away matches to allow time to reassess the security concerns in the country.
World Cup qualifiers
Tensions between the 2 Koreas during the 2010 World Cup qualification had led North Korea to withdraw from hosting South Korean team and refusing to display the South Korean flag and play their national anthem. As a result, North Korea’s home matches were moved to Shanghai.
During the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, North Korea reluctantly agreed to host the South Korean team in Pyongyang, the first time North Korea hosted South Korea at home in a competitive match. North Korean government banned supporters from entering the stadium. The match ended a goalless draw, and as for the result of controversies, South Korea decided to pull out the bid for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and accused North Korea of political meddling in sports. AFC was accused of doing little about the case, which led to AFC to decide the final of the 2019 AFC Cup would not be hosted in North Korea.
On 9 March 2020, FIFA announced in a statement that matches between Asian qualifiers for World Cup 2022, which were scheduled for March and June, are postponed to a later time. The decision has been made due to the spread of SARS-CoV-2. On 12 August 2020, FIFA and AFC have jointly decided that the upcoming qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023, originally scheduled to take place during the international match windows in October and November 2020, will be rescheduled to 2021