2011 AFC Cup Qualification
This is a shocking news for Indonesia team in the near future. AFC has announced new qualification system for Asian countries to participate in Asia Cup 2011. Three countries with highest achievement at previous AFC Cup (Iraq, Saudi, and South Korea) will be automatic qualifier with Qatar as host nation for Asia Cup 2011. Two tickets will be provided to winners of AFC Challenge Cup in 2008 and 2010. It is a tournament for 17 countries, considered as emerging football countries in Asia. So, there will be ten tickets left to be fought by 20 countries, including Indonesia, through qualification round.
Based on the latest AFC release, Indonesia is ranked 11 for the qualification round. However since the first three are automatic qualifiers, Indonesia is ranked eighth for the qualification round.
If AFC divides 20 countries in five groups based on region (East vs West) and sub-continent (West-Central-East-Southeast), Indonesia has to work hard to take part in Asia Cup 2011. Strong football countries in East region and in West region are really waiting to meet us.
Based on Sub-Continent:
East Asia: Japan, China, HongKong
South East Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia
Central Asia: India, Uzbekistan
West Asia: Iran, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Kuwait, Lebanon
I am confident Indonesia can overcome opponents such as Hong Kong, Lebanon, Bahrain, India, and Malaysia. Some countries that will be serious contenders for Indonesia are Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, and Syria. However, it will be difficult for Indonesia to win the AFC Cup ticket if countries like Japan, China, Iran, Uzbekistan, and Australia are in the same group as Indonesia.
Group Champion: 25%
Group Runner Up: 50%
There is another possibility of group drawing system by regarding the rank of the country. If AFC uses the ranking system, Indonesia is in serious problem.
Based on Ranking System:
Automatic Qualifier: Qatar, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea
Pot 1 (Rank 1-5) : Japan, Australia, Iran, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
Pot 2 (Rank 6-10) : China, Thailand, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain
Pot 3 (Rank 11-15) : Oman, Malaysia, Jordan, Syria, Hong Kong
Pot 4 (Rank 16-20) : Yemen, Kuwait, Singapore, India, Lebanon
5 countries with highest rank in AFC qualification round will be spread in five different groups. Indonesia will meet one of them. Indonesia is lucky if the drawing puts Indonesia in the same group with Vietnam. On the other side, Oman, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Yemen, and Singapore, are waiting in Pot 3 and 4. It is almost possible that Indonesia will against one or even two of them (6:10) at group qualification stage. This will be serious problem.
Group Champion: 5%
Runner Up: 35%
Get Ready and Face The Challenge!!!