Seeds and pots allocated for 2007 Asian Cup draw

Japan, China, Iran, Bahrain, Uzbekistan and Jordan are the top six seeds for the draw for the qualification rounds of the AFC Asian Cup 2007 to be held at AFC House on 4 January 2006, AFCMedia reported. The team classifications and pot allocations were approved by the AFC Competitions Committee.

The 24 teams have been divided into four pots (A-D) of six each. The draw, which will be held in the presence of the representatives of the teams, will slot four teams each into six groups (A-F), with the top two teams from each group advancing to the final round. Teams from the same pot will not face each other.

The four hosts - Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand - automatically qualify for the tournament proper.

While pot A comprises the top six seeds, pot B has Korea Republic, Iraq, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, ranked from 7th to 12th.

In pot C (seeds 13-18) are UAE, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Palestine, Sri Lanka, Chinese Taipei, Pakistan/Bangladesh, India and Australia have been placed in pot D and seeded 19th to 24th.

Pakistan and Bangladesh will clash in a pre-qualification double-header. The winner of this two-legged playoff will make it to the qualifying rounds.

Australia, who join the AFC on 1 January 2006, are the bottom seeds in pot D. All other teams have been classified on the basis of both the preliminary and final rounds of the 2004 Asian Cup. "Australia do not have a record, so they are at the bottom. If we went according to FIFA rankings, of course, the situation would be different," an AFC official said.

See also: Aussies may take weak side to first Asian Cup game (29 Nov)