Asian Cup finals draw today

No seeding for Japan, Australia

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) named host nation Qatar as the top seeds while Japan were fifth and Australia sixth ahead of Friday's draw for the finals.

"We see no reason to follow FIFA rankings," AFC spokesman Ali Al-Hamdani said.
The draw will feature 16 teams, including India and DPR Korea who will make history as the first teams to take part in Asia’s flagship tournament as respective winners of the 2008 and 2010 AFC Challenge Cups.

"Seedings for the 2007 event were based on FIFA rankings so as to accommodate Australia, who were making their debut in the competition after moving across from Oceania to Asia. The 2007 system was a one-off to make it fair on other teams following the arrival of Australia."

Champions Iraq, who had their international suspension lifted by world soccer's governing body FIFA last month, 2007 runners-up Saudi Arabia and South Korea make up the rest of the top four seeds.

They are in the first of the four pots, with each pot containing four teams. They will be drawn into four groups at Friday’s ceremony. India, the lowest ranked side among the 16 participating countries at 132nd, have been placed in Pot Four along with Syria, Kuwait and North Korea.

Pot Two has Australia, Japan, Iran and Uzbekistan. China, UAE Bahrain and Jordan are placed in Pot Three. As a result of the seedings, South Korea could face a showdown with bitter rivals North Korea in the group stages.

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