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Jordan drawn alongside Japan, Iraq for 2015 Asian Cup

By JT - Mar 26,2014 - Last updated at Mar 26,2014

AMMAN –– Jordan has been drawn in the same group of heavyweights Japan for the 2015 Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Asian Cup to be played in Australia.

Japan won the Asian Cup in 2011 in Qatar. 

The Kingdom, put in Group D, will also play Iraq and the winner of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup. 

The eight-team 2014 AFC Challenge Cup will be held in the Maldives in May. Countries participating in the tournament include Laos, Palestine, Myanmar, Philippines, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and the hosts. 

Wednesday’s draw, held at the Sydney Opera House, grouped host Australia with South Korea, Oman and Kuwait in Group A.

Uzbekistan will face three-time champion Saudi Arabia, China and North Korea in an even-looking Group B.

Iran was placed with three Arab countries, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Bahrain in Group C. 

Commenting on Jordan's draw, head coach Hossam Hassan said the national team has landed in a tough group, with two former champions Japan and Iraq.

He told the Jordan Football Association website that all the teams that have qualified to the 2015 Asian Cup have what it takes to compete for the title, stressing that Asia's elite have reached this championship.

Tickets for the Asian Cup Australia 2015 will go on sale this year, the Australian embassy said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times. 

Arab countries have won the AFC Asian Cup five times, most recently in 2007 when Iraq beat Saudi Arabia in the final. 

Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE have all qualified to the tournament.

Asian Cup is the AFC’s premier men’s competition. 

The tournament is held every four years with the first in Hong Kong in 1956. 

The Asian Cup is the largest sporting event in Asia, with close to 500 million people watching the 2011 tournament, the embassy statement said. 

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