AFC: Asian Cup 2023 Opens with Record-Breaking Attendance

AFC: Asian Cup 2023 Opens with Record-Breaking Attendance By A Robin - January 15, 2024
Lusail Stadium

Lusail Stadium

The grandest ever edition of Asias national team flagship got underway in spectacular fashion on Friday evening with a record number of spectators contributing to the electric atmosphere during the opening match of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 between Qatar and Lebanon.

A total of 82,490 fans thronged the iconic Lusail Stadium to witness Qatar get off to a winning start in the 18th edition of Asias crown jewel, which eclipsed the previous attendance record of 40,000 for an opening match in AFC Asian Cup history that was set in 2004 when China PR and Bahrain played out a 2-2 draw at the Workers Stadium in Beijing.

The 3-0 victory, which meant that reigning champions Qatar moved to the top of Group A, was achieved thanks to a brace from Akram Afif and a header from Almoez Ali, with the latters strike taking him to joint-second place in the all-time AFC Asian Cup scoring charts on 10 goals.

The match also saw the implementation of the Semi-Automated Offside Technology (SAOT) system, marking its debut at an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) competition and making the AFC the first Confederation in world football to apply the system at the Continental Mens national team level. The SAOT system complemented the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, which made its full debut following its successful implementation from the Quarter-final stage during the 2019 tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

The Continental Federation also noted that the State of Qatar is hosting the Asian Cup for the third time, which is also a record.

The AFC described the Qatari edition as the greatest in the history of the Asian Cup, and that the opening took place in a dazzling ceremonial manner on Friday.


By A Robin - January 15, 2024

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