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Jordan football teams prepare for Asian competitions

By Aline Bannayan - Jul 24,2018 - Last updated at Jul 24,2018

AMMAN — The U-19 women’s national team will host the UAE next month, as both teams prepare for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-19 Championship qualifiers.

The qualifiers set for October 20-28 will see 27 teams play in six groups with Jordan in Group E alongside Malaysia, the Northern Mariana Islands and Vietnam.

Group A: Lebanon, Australia, Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Mongolia.

Group B: Thailand, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Singapore.

Group C: The UAE, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Guam and the Maldives.

Group D: Korea, Taiwan, Tajikistan and Bangladesh.

Group F: Palestine, Myanmar, Iran and Laos.

The top team from each group and the top two second placed teams move to the second round set for April 2019, where the teams will play in two groups with the top two from each group advancing to the finals.

Similarly, Jordan’s girls U-16 team was drawn in Group A alongside China, Uzbekistan, Guam, Sri Lanka.

Group B: Laos, India, Hong Kong, Pakistan and Mongolia.

Group C: Thailand, Iran, the Northern Mariana Islands, Singapore and Tajikistan.

Group D: Australia, Palestine, Taiwan, Indonesia and Kyrgyzstan.

Group E: Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Syria and Nepal.

Group F: Vietnam, the UAE, Bahrain, Lebanon and Bangladesh.

Qualifiers are set for September 15-23 where 30 teams will play in six groups with the top team and best two second placed teams moving to the second round in February 2019, where the teams play in two groups with the top two from each group advancing to the finals.

In men’s competitions, Jordan was drawn in Group C for the AFC U-19 Championship to play alongside Australia, South Korea and Vietnam. Group A includes Indonesia, the UAE, Qatar and Taiwan. Group B includes Japan, Iraq, Thailand and North Korea, while Group D includes Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia, China and Malaysia.

The championship will see 16 teams playing in four groups with the eventual semifinalists playing in the FIFA U-19 World Cup.

Jordan failed to qualify to the championships in 2014 and 2016 after earlier qualifying four times and reaching the FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada in 2007. The team finished fourth in 2006, but exited the first round in 2008 and 2010 and reached the quarters in 2012. 

Jordan’s U-16 team qualified to the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship after topping Group A qualifiers. Held once every two years for Asian U-16 teams, the competition also serves as a qualification tournament for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, with the top four countries qualifying. Iraq is the reigning champ.

Earlier this year, Jordan’s U-23 team was knocked out of the first round of the 3rd AFC U-23 Championship that acts as a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In 2016, Jordan was eliminated from the quarter-finals of the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship. 

In women’s Asian competitions, Jordan hosted the continent’s top eight teams in the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup earlier this year. The Kingdom now 57th in FIFA Rakings became the first country in the West Asia zone to host the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, which is held every four years. Previously, the senior team competed in 2015, when it exited the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament with a winless record.

In 2016, Jordan hosted the U-17 FIFA World Cup, the first of its kind to take place in the Middle East from which the top five advanced to the Women’s World Cup 2019 in France.

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