Saturday 10 February 2024, 19:45

Gianni Infantino attends “incredible” AFC Asian Cup 2023 final in Doha

  • FIFA President watched Qatar beat Jordan 3-1 to win the trophy for the second successive time

  • Match was played at the Lusail Stadium, venue for the FIFA World Cup 2022™ final

  • The tournament provided unparalleled excitement with dramatic finishes and surprise results

Gianni Infantino said that Asian football showed its true potential after attending an “incredible” AFC Asian Cup 2023 final between Qatar and Jordan at the Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar. Watching alongside the Amir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the FIFA President saw the host nation win 3-1 in front of a passionate crowd to retain the title they won in the United Arab Emirates in 2019.

The FIFA President congratulated both teams as he returned to the stadium where he previously witnessed the opening game between Qatar and Lebanon on 12 January as well as the historic FIFA World Cup 2022™ final between Argentina and France just over one year.

“What an incredible final we witnessed at the Lusail Stadium! Congratulations to hosts Qatar on retaining the AFC Asian Cup and also to Jordan for playing an incredible game,” said Mr Infantino, who took part in the trophy ceremony alongside other dignitaries including AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.

“This game and the fantastic fans brought back incredible memories from the FIFA World Cup 2022 on an evening when Asian football took centre stage and showed the world its true potential. Thank you to all the people of Qatar and everyone involved in hosting this very successful tournament.”

The tournament witnessed memorable matches, with a number of surprise results as well as dramatic finishes with teams scoring deep into added time. In a sign of the improving standards across the region, Jordan reached the final for the first time while Tajikistan progressed to the quarter-finals on their debut.

The AFC Asian Cup 2023 featured video assistant referees (VAR) at every match for the first time as well as semi-automated offside technology, which was introduced at the FIFA World Cup 2022.

The highly competitive and unpredictable nature of the tournament showed that the AFC made the right decision to expand it from 16 to 24 teams from 2019, giving more teams the chance to perform in the spotlight.

The AFC will have eight guaranteed places at the FIFA World Cup 26™, with a possible ninth through the Play-Off tournament.