AFC Solidarity Cup

Editions

Year Host nation(s) Winner Runner-up
2016 Malaysia

History

The AFC Solidarity Cup is an international tournament for Asian Football Confederation (AFC) member countries with limited opportunities to organise international friendly matches and found it difficult to compete in FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

The tournament was created following the termination of the AFC Challenge Cup.
It was staged for the first time in 2016 and is intended to take place every four years.
AFC stated that the Solidarity Cup name stood for unity amongst the member nations with football helping to foster fundamental educational and technical values such as fair play, team spirit, co-operation and respect for others.

They added that the competition is aimed at providing the participating teams with more opportunities to play competitive international matches during the period when they are not participating in any other FIFA or AFC competitions.

Speaking of the new tournament, AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said: "As the name suggests, the competition brings together a group of our aspiring Member Associations in a single event. This is a unique competition where the focus is on development which, through mutual support and solidarity, will take Asian football to a new level. As individual teams improve and the level of competition gets tougher, the opposition is stronger and all competing teams benefit.

"The AFC Solidarity Cup will give teams the opportunity to play competitive international matches when they are not participating in other FIFA or AFC national team competitions.
"What makes the AFC Solidarity Cup so special is the educational elements it offers to the participants. These include training and information-sharing in areas such as coaching, referees and technical analysis. Also event management training will be offered to MAs who hold aspirations to host international tournaments in the future.

"The AFC Solidarity Cup is an exciting opportunity of developing national team football in Asia. The AFC is united behind this new concept - the AFC Solidarity Cup - as we look to deliver the objective of our Vision and Mission which is to make Asian teams stronger on the global stage."

Nepal, Brunei Darussalam, Macau, Mongolia and Sri Lanka, as well as Laos and Timor-Leste who had been eliminated after the AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers play-off, formed the participating teams for the 2016 competition.

The 14-day tournament was staged at the Sarawak Stadium in Kuching, Malaysia.