You are here

Jordan starts Asian Cup preparations

By Aline Bannayan - Aug 18,2018 - Last updated at Aug 18,2018

AMMAN  — Jordan’s national team will soon start the final phase of preparations as teams count down for the 2019 Asian Cup in the UAE.

The squad is set to host Lebanon on September 6 and Oman on September 11 as it gears up for the continent’s most important football event. In case the West Asian Championship is not held officials were contemplating hosting a friendly tournament in November. The team is also set to have a training camp in Qatar in December during which matches against the hosts and Kyrgyzstan have been set ahead of the January 6 Asian Cup kick off.

Jordan last beat Cyprus 3-0 earlier in the summer and players have now started a new season with their respective clubs.

At the Asian Cup, Jordan will play alongside Australia, Syria and Palestine in Group B.

While the team’s path to the championship was not difficult against relatively unknown teams in the Asian continent now comes the serious part. The 24 teams will play in 6 groups with the top two from each group and four third placed teams advancing to the Round of 16. 

The Kingdom’s competitive edge is lacking and judging by FIFA Rankings it seems there will be a tough task ahead. The squad remained 110th when the latest FIFA Rankings were issued over the weekend. Once among Asia’s top 10, Jordan is now 19th in the continent trailing Iran (39), Australia (43), Japan (55), South Korea (57), Saudi Arabia (70), Syria (73), China (75), the UAE (77), Lebanon (79), Oman (84), Iraq (89), Kyrgyzstan (92), Uzbekistan (95), India (96), Qatar (98), Palestine (99) Vietnam (102), North Korea (108). Tunisia is the top-ranked Arab team at 24th, followed by Morocco (46), Egypt (65), Algeria (66) and Saudi Arabia (70).

The national team is now lagging behind relatively uncompetitive Asian teams compared to their best FIFA ranking of 37th in 2004. Jordan ended 2017 at 107th — a position they did not better throughout last year. 

Since first taking part in Asian Cup qualifiers in 1972, Jordan reached the Asian Championship three times. The peak was at the 13th Asian Cup, when it lost to Japan in the quarter-finals and jumped to the best ever FIFA ranking of 37th in August 2004. Jordan also reached the Asian Cup in 2011 and 2015.

After elimination from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, playing in the Asian finals was a priority for Jordan who have steadily slid down FIFA Rankings and the team has had inconsistent results compared to 2013 when Jordan was on the verge of qualifying to the 2014 World Cup for the first time and advanced to play then World’s 6th ranked Uruguay in an intercontinental qualifying tie. It lost the home game 5-0 and held the former World Cup champs 0-0 in the away match. Jordan had never reached that far in World Cup qualifying since taking part in qualifiers. Round 3 had been the furthest Jordan reached in the past seven qualifiers since 1986. 

Jordan’s lowest ranking was 152nd in 1996.

103 users have voted.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
1 + 12 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.