AFC President: Qatar Presented a Dazzling Tournament that will Take its Place as the Best Edition Ever in History of the Jewel of the Continents Tournaments

Doha, February 10 (QNA) – Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has congratulated Qatar on creating history as the West Asians became only the fifth team to defend their AFC Asian Cup crown after defeating Jordan 3-1 in a pulsating Final at the Lusail Stadium on Saturday.

The AFC President said: “On behalf of the AFC, I would like to extend our wholehearted congratulations to Qatar on defending their Asian title and showcasing exceptional tenacity, consistency and quality over the last 30 days.

“In their first ever Final, Jordan were worthy opponents, and both finalists were outstanding from start to finish, producing riveting moments that will live on long in our memories, and we must praise the Qatar Football Association and the Jordan Football Association for their dedication to elevate the beautiful game at all levels.

Shaikh Salman also reiterated his appreciation to the Qatar Football Association, the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 Local Organising Committee, and Qatari authorities for a spectacular tournament that will take its place as the most successful men’s flagship edition in history.

“From the FIFA World Cup venues, the world-class infrastructure, the seamless connectivity, the absorbing atmosphere all across the city of Doha, and unrivalled hospitality from the people of Qatar, the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 was unlike anything we have ever experienced or witnessed in the tournaments proud history.

“On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to convey a big heartfelt thank you to the Qatar Football Association, the Local Organising Committee and the Qatari authorities for their exceptional hosting capabilities and for delivering a tournament that will go down as the greatest ever Asian football masterpiece,” added the AFC President.

“Qatar is undoubtedly one of the elite sporting destinations across the globe. Prior to the tournament, as hosts of the FIFA World Cup, expectations of Qatar were indeed high and understandably so, but I know I speak for everyone when I say Qatar have not just met those expectations, but far exceeded all our aspirations.” The AFC President also paid tribute to the absorbing and vibrant atmosphere created by the passionate fans of Asian football. The world’s largest football community turned up in droves to rally behind the Continents top 24 sides with more than 1.5 million supporters showcasing their fervour across the 51 matches, making the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 the most-attended showpiece in history.

Not only did the 18th edition of the tournament surpass the previous 1.04m attendance record, but it also saw the nine world-class stadiums achieve an average of 73% capacity a 13% increase from the best-ever showing set in China PR in 2004. It was also the second attendance milestone to be broken after 82,490 fans set a new opening match record when Qatar defeated Lebanon at the Lusail Stadium.

At the same time, the preliminary digital engagement and broadcast figures have reaffirmed the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 as the most appealing edition in history, with digital impressions crossing the 5.5 billion mark and broadcast figures also poised to smash TV viewership records.

Shaikh Salman said: “The AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 has firmly cemented its place as the most engaging in history so from the bottom of my heart, I would like to put on record my sincere appreciation to all our fans as well as our dedicated volunteers for showcasing their enthusiasm and breathing life into the competition through their unprecedented support.” (QNA)