The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced Tuesday that a cast of Asian football stars will participate in the draw ceremony of the 18th edition of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, which will be held at the Katara Cultural Village to draw the path for the 24 participating teams in the tournament that will be held in Qatar from Jan. 12 until Feb. 24, 2024.
The AFC said on its official website that seven Asian football luminaries will be present to lend a helping hand to the chief draw conductor AFC General Secretary Datuk Seri Windsor John in unveiling the fate of the teams in the four pots. The illustrious draw assistants have been specially selected to represent the AFC’s five zones.
Fittingly, Hassan Al Haydos, who captained the Maroons to a historic maiden triumph in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, leads the ensemble, which also includes two-time AFC Asian Footballer of the Year, Server Djeparov. They will be joined by the world-renowned duo of Korea Republic legend Park Ji-sung, one of the most successful Asian footballers in history, and Australian icon Tim Cahill.
And, in a remarkable and welcome first for the flagship draw, a trailblazing trio of women – Yoshimi Yamashita, Sun Wen, and Maymol Rocky – round off the group of draw assistants. Top Japanese referee Yamashita became one of the first women to ever officiate at the men’s FIFA World Cup when she took the field during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, while Sun, the former China PR captain who won both the Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards at the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 1999, is regarded as one of the game’s greatest ever players. Maymol, the first female to lead India’s women’s national team in 2017 and the current head coach of their U20 women’s side will also take the stage.
Source: Qatar News Agency