Six automatic berths for AFC Asian Cup 2011

To enhance the value of the coming 3rd versus 4th finals play-off, three of the four AFC Asian Cup 2007 semi-finalists will be given byes to the 2011 finals, the Asian Football Confederation announced. South Korea, Japan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia now all have a chance to book their places in the 2011 competition in Wednesday's semi-finals. A fourth automatic spot will go to the host country, expected to be Qatar. The AFC also announced automatic berths in the 2011 Asian Cup for the 2008 and 2010 winners of the AFC Challenge Cup, the national teams tournament for emerging football nations.

The AFC Challenge Cup usually comprises Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Nepal, Mongolia, Taiwan, Guam, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Philippines, Macau, Brunei, Timor-Leste, Kyrgyzstan, Palestine, Pakistan and Northern Mariana Islands. Taiwan is hosting the 2008 edition under the name "Chinese Taipei".