AFC Asian Cup


Year Host nation(s) Winner Runner-up
1956 Hong Kong Korea Republic Israel
1960 Korea Republic Korea Republic Israel
1964 Israel Israel India
1968 Iran Iran Myanmar
1972 Thailand Iran Korea Republic
1976 Iran Iran Kuwait
1980 Kuwait Kuwait Korea Republic
1984 Singapore Saudi Arabia China PR
1988 Qatar Saudi Arabia Korea Republic
1992 Japan Japan Saudi Arabia
1996 United Arab Emirates Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates
2000 Lebanon Japan Saudi Arabia
2004 China Japan China PR
2007 Iraq Saudi Arabia
2011 Qatar Japan Australia
2015 Australia Australia Korea Republic
2019 United Arab Emirates Qatar Japan


The AFC Asian Cup is a prestigious football tournament held every four years, bringing together the top national teams from across the Asian continent. The tournament has a rich history, spanning several decades, and has witnessed remarkable moments, passionate matches, and the rise of football in Asia. Let's take a journey through the history of the AFC Asian Cup.

The inaugural edition of the AFC Asian Cup took place in 1956. Hosted by Hong Kong, the tournament featured just four teams: South Korea, Israel, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam. South Korea emerged as the champions, defeating Israel in the final. The tournament's format underwent various changes in subsequent editions, with the number of participating teams increasing gradually.

As Asian football gained momentum, the Asian Cup grew in popularity and competitiveness. The tournament expanded to include more teams, and the quality of play improved over time. Iran established its dominance in the 1960s, winning three consecutive titles from 1968 to 1976. During this period, teams like South Korea, Israel, and Saudi Arabia also left their mark on the competition.

In 1980, Kuwait hosted the Asian Cup, marking a significant milestone in the tournament's history. The tournament featured a record 10 teams, and Kuwait emerged victorious, capturing their first-ever Asian Cup title. The competition continued to witness intense battles, with teams from East Asia, West Asia, and the Middle East vying for supremacy.

In 1992, Japan hosted the Asian Cup for the first time. The tournament was expanded to 12 teams, and Japan made it to the final but lost to Saudi Arabia. The Asian Cup saw further growth and global recognition in the 2000s. The tournament became a platform for emerging talents and witnessed the rise of powerhouse teams such as Japan, South Korea, and Australia.

The 2007 edition was particularly historic as it marked the expansion of the tournament to 16 teams. Co-hosted by Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, the Asian Cup witnessed a thrilling competition. Iraq, despite being plagued by internal conflicts, triumphed against all odds and claimed their first-ever Asian Cup title, uniting the nation in celebration.

In 2011, Qatar hosted the Asian Cup, paving the way for future footballing events in the country. The tournament featured some memorable matches, with Japan emerging victorious after defeating Australia in the final. The 2015 edition took place in Australia, marking the first time the tournament was held outside the traditional Asian region. Australia clinched their first Asian Cup title on home soil.

The 2019 Asian Cup, held in the United Arab Emirates, witnessed record-breaking participation with 24 teams competing for the title. Qatar emerged as the champions, defeating Japan in the final, thereby establishing themselves as a rising force in Asian football.