Football at Asian Games 2023 will start on September 19 and conclude on October 7 in Hangzhou, China.
The Asian Games 2023 will see 32 teams compete in the men’s football event, while 16 nations will battle for the gold medal in the women’s football event.
Hosts China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Korea have confirmed their participation in the men’s football event at Asiad 2023.
In the women’s event, China, Bangladesh, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam will be among the 16 women’s football teams to take part at Hangzhou 2023.
South Korea are the defending champions of the men's football event at the Asian Games, while Japan won the gold medal in the women’s football event at Asiad 2018 in Indonesia.
The men’s football competition has been one of the sporting events at Asian Games since its inaugural edition in New Delhi in 1951. The women’s football event made its debut at the Asian Games in 1990.
Since Asian Games 2002, every participating football men’s team comprises under-23 players along with three overage footballers.
Reigning champions South Korea are also the most successful team in the men's football event at Asian Games with five titles. Iran are the next most prolific nation in the event with four Asiad triumphs.
China and North Korea are the most decorated teams in the women's football event at Asiad with three titles each.
Interestingly, Japan is the only nation to bag a gold medal in both men’s and women’s football competitions in an Asian Games in 2010.
The first-ever edition of Asia Games in 1951 was won by the host nation India. They would go on to win the Asian Games again in 1962, making them two-time winners and the third-most successful team in the history of the competition.
However, the Indian men’s football team will not be participating at Asian Games 2023. The Blue Tigers, in fact, will not be participating at the Asian Games for the second consecutive time as they do not meet the Indian Sports Ministry’s Asiad participation criteria of being among the top eight ranked sides in Asia.
India are currently ranked 18th in Asia and 99th in FIFA as per the latest rankings at the time of writing.
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