The 2022 AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualification was an international men's under-23 football competition which decided the participating teams of the 2022 AFC U-23 Asian Cup.
2022 AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualification
Qatar (Group A) Tajikistan (Group B) Bahrain (Group C) Uzbekistan (Group D) United Arab Emirates (Group E) Jordan (Group F) Tajikistan (Group G) Singapore (Group H) Kyrgyzstan (Group I) Mongolia (Group J) Japan (Group K)
A total of 16 teams qualified to play in the final tournament, including Uzbekistan who qualified automatically as hosts country.
Due to non-compliance to doping regulations, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned Indonesia and Thailand from using their national flags in competitions, except during the Olympics. It was reported that Indonesia prepared the flag of its federation, in the event its team was barred from using the national flag.
Out of the 47 AFC member associations, a total of 42 teams entered the competition. The final tournament hosts Uzbekistan decided to participate in qualification. Their matches were not taken into account when calculating the group ranking and best second-placed teams among the groups.
The draw was held on 9 July 2021, 12:00 (UTC+5), in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The 42 teams were drawn into nine groups of four teams and two groups of three teams. For the draw, teams were divided into two zones:
East Zone: 19 teams from ASEAN and East Asia, to be drawn into four groups of four teams and one group of three teams (Groups G–K).
The teams were seeded according to their performance in the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship final tournament and qualification (overall ranking shown in parentheses). The eleven teams which indicated their intention to serve as qualification group hosts prior to the draw were drawn into separate groups.
On 29 July, North Korea withdrew from the competition due to safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, to better balance of the number of teams across all groups, the AFC conducted a draw on 11 August to move one team from Groups G to J, which was Hong Kong, who were placed in Group K. On 11 October, China also withdrew from the competition for the same reason, leaving Group G with only two teams.
Teams were ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss), and if tied on points, the following tiebreaking criteria were applied, in the order given, to determine the rankings.
Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
If more than two teams are tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, a subset of teams are still tied, all head-to-head criteria above were reapplied exclusively to this subset of teams;
Goal difference in all group matches;
Goals scored in all group matches;
Penalty shoot-out if only two teams are tied and they met in the last round of the group;
Disciplinary points (yellow card = 1 point, red card as a result of two yellow cards = 3 points, direct red card = 3 points, yellow card followed by direct red card = 4 points);
DPR Korea withdrew from the competition on 29 July. They were replaced by a team initially drawn in Group G–J (excluding host countries and teams from Pot 1), which was determined by a draw on 11 August to be Hong Kong.