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The AFC Challenge Cup was an international football competition for Asian Football Confederation (AFC) member countries that was categorized as "emerging countries" in the "Vision Asia" programme.[1] "Vision Asia", created by former AFC president, Mohammed Bin Hammam, is the AFC's plan for a continent wide programme to raise the standards of Asian football at all levels.[2] The AFC Challenge Cup, which reflected the philosophy of Vision Asia, was created for teams to experience playing in a continental competition with the possibility to win an AFC trophy and to potentially discover new talent.[3]

AFC Challenge Cup
AFC Challenge Cup.svg
Official logo of the AFC Challenge Cup
Founded2006
Abolished2014
RegionAsia (AFC)
Number of teams8 (at the finals)
Last champions Palestine
(1st title)
Most successful team(s) North Korea
(2 titles)
WebsiteOfficial website

The inaugural tournament was hosted by Bangladesh in 2006 and was held biennially. An amendment to men's national team competitions in July 2006, meant that starting with the 2008 and 2010 editions of the AFC Challenge Cup, the winners automatically qualify for the AFC Asian Cup.[4]

In the 2011 and 2015 AFC Asian Cup tournaments, two qualification spots have been allocated to the two most recent AFC Challenge Cup winners. The 2014 tournament was the last edition of this competition, due to the expansion of the Asian Cup to the 24-nations format from the 16-nations one after the 2015 edition.[5][6] In April 2016, due to several associations requesting a new competition to replace the Challenge Cup as they were having problems arranging friendly matches, the AFC created the AFC Solidarity Cup.[7]

Selection of teamsEdit

The AFC initially divided their 46 member nations into three groups in 2006. Although the tournament is meant for the countries of emerging associations class, some countries from the developing associations class have participated in the qualification and the finals of the tournament such as India, Maldives, Myanmar, North Korea, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. As a result, only one team from the emerging class ever won the tournament, when Palestine won in 2014. In late March 2012, the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association, although only an associate member of the AFC, was approved by the AFC to enter their national team in the competition.[8] In November 2012, the AFC announced North Korea's exclusion from future AFC Challenge Cups.[9]

 
  Eligible in the AFC Challenge Cup
  Former participants

The last 17 are classed as emerging associations, which need time to develop their football. They are eligible in the AFC Challenge Cup. These are the teams which participate:

ResultsEdit

Year Host Final Losing semi-finalists Number of teams
Winner Score Runner-up
2006
Details
 
Bangladesh
 
Tajikistan
4–0  
Sri Lanka
  Kyrgyzstan and     Nepal 16
Year Host Final Third place match Number of teams
Winner Score Runner-up Third place Score Fourth place
2008
Details
 
India
 
India
4–1  
Tajikistan
 
North Korea
4–0  
Myanmar
8
2010
Details
 
Sri Lanka
 
North Korea
1–1 (a.e.t.)
(5–4 pens.)
 
Turkmenistan
 
Tajikistan
1–0  
Myanmar
8
2012
Details
 
Nepal
 
North Korea
2–1  
Turkmenistan
 
Philippines
4–3  
Palestine
8
2014
Details
 
Maldives
 
Palestine
1–0  
Philippines
 
Maldives
1–1 (a.e.t.)
(8–7 pens.)
 
Afghanistan
8

Successful national teamsEdit

Team Champion Runners-up Third place Fourth place
  North Korea 2 (2010, 2012) 1 (2008)
  Tajikistan 1 (2006) 1 (2008) 1 (2010)
  Palestine 1 (2014) 1 (2012)
  India 1 (2008)
  Turkmenistan 2 (2010, 2012)
  Philippines 1 (2014) 1 (2012)
  Sri Lanka 1 (2006)
  Kyrgyzstan 1 (2006^)
    Nepal 1 (2006^)
  Maldives 1 (2014)
  Myanmar 2 (2008, 2010)
  Afghanistan 1 (2014)

Participating nationsEdit

 
The participating countries of the AFC Challenge Cup and their number of appearances in the tournament.
  4 appearances
  3 appearances
  2 appearances
  1 appearance
  Never qualified
  Ineligible
  Not an associate member of AFC
Legend

For each tournament, the number of teams in each of the finals tournament are shown.

Teams 2006
(16)
2008
(8)
2010
(8)
2012
(8)
2014
(8)
Years
  Afghanistan GS GS × 4th 3
  Bangladesh QF GS 2
  Bhutan GS 1
  Brunei GS × × 1
  Cambodia GS 1
  Chinese Taipei QF 1
  Guam GS 1
  India QF 1st GS GS 4
  Kyrgyzstan SF GS GS 3
  Laos × GS 1
  Macau GS 1
  Maldives GS 3rd 2
  Mongolia × 0
  Myanmar 4th 4th GS 3
    Nepal SF GS GS 3
  North Korea 3rd 1st 1st 3
  Northern Mariana Islands 0
  Pakistan GS 1
  Palestine QF × 4th 1st 3
  Philippines GS 3rd 2nd 3
  Sri Lanka 2nd GS GS 3
  Tajikistan 1st 2nd 3rd GS 4
  Timor-Leste × × × × × 0
  Turkmenistan GS 2nd 2nd GS 4

General StatisticsEdit

Rank Team Part Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1   North Korea 3 15 12 2 1 35 4 +31 38
2   Tajikistan 4 19 11 2 6 36 16 +20 34
3   Turkmenistan 4 16 8 4 4 27 14 +13 28
4   Palestine 3 14 8 3 3 29 8 +21 27
5   Philippines 3 13 6 3 4 18 14 +4 21
6   India 4 15 5 3 7 13 21 -8 18
7   Kyrgyzstan 3 11 5 0 6 7 12 -5 15
8   Myanmar 3 13 5 0 8 15 22 -7 15
9   Sri Lanka 3 12 4 2 6 12 22 -10 14
10     Nepal 3 11 3 2 6 11 14 -3 11
11   Bangladesh 2 7 3 1 3 10 13 -3 10
12   Maldives 2 8 2 2 4 9 12 -3 8
13   Afghanistan 3 11 1 5 5 7 19 -12 8
14   Chinese Taipei 1 4 1 2 1 3 5 -2 5
15   Brunei 1 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
16   Pakistan 1 3 1 1 1 3 4 -1 4
17   Cambodia 1 3 1 0 2 4 6 -2 3
18   Bhutan 1 3 0 1 2 0 3 -3 1
19   Macau 1 3 0 1 2 2 8 -6 1
20   Laos 1 3 0 1 2 1 7 -6 1
21   Guam 1 3 0 0 3 0 17 -17 0

General Statistics (Qualification)Edit

Rank Team Part Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1   Philippines 4 13 7 3 3 23 11 +12 24
2   Afghanistan 3 10 6 2 2 10 4 +6 20
3   Turkmenistan 3 8 6 1 1 28 3 +25 19
4   Tajikistan 3 9 6 1 2 15 2 +13 19
5   Sri Lanka 4 12 5 3 4 28 18 +10 18
6   Myanmar 3 9 5 2 2 16 8 +8 17
7   Pakistan 4 12 5 2 5 26 21 +5 17
8   Kyrgyzstan 4 10 5 2 3 12 10 +2 17
9   Palestine 3 8 4 4 0 16 2 +14 16
10     Nepal 4 10 4 4 2 12 6 +6 16
11   Bangladesh 4 11 5 1 5 14 10 +4 16
12   Maldives 2 6 4 1 1 15 6 +9 13
13   India 2 6 4 1 1 13 4 +7 13
14   Chinese Taipei 4 14 3 4 7 22 24 -2 13
15   North Korea 1 3 3 0 0 7 0 +7 9
16   Cambodia 4 12 3 0 9 13 35 -22 9
17   Mongolia 3 7 2 1 4 6 11 -5 7
18   Laos 2 5 1 3 1 9 10 -1 6
19   Macau 4 12 2 0 10 11 29 -18 6
20   Guam 2 6 1 0 5 7 27 -20 3
21   Brunei 2 6 0 1 5 2 22 -20 1
22   Bhutan 3 8 0 1 7 1 24 -23 1
23   Timor-Leste 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
24   Northern Mariana Islands 1 3 0 0 3 0 19 -19 0

AwardsEdit

Most Valuable PlayersEdit

Year Player
2006   Ibrahim Rabimov
2008   Bhaichung Bhutia
2010   Ryang Yong-Gi
2012   Pak Nam-Chol
2014   Murad Ismail

Top scorersEdit

Year Player Goals
2006   Fahed Attal 8
2008   Pak Song-Chol 6
2010   Ryang Yong-Gi 4
2012   Phil Younghusband 6
2014   Ashraf Nu'man 4

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Regulations - AFC Challenge Cup" (PDF) (PDF). Asian Football Confederation. Retrieved 26 March 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Visiona Asian Philosophy". Asian Football Confederation. 31 August 2007. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ "AFC Challenge Cup in 2006 competition information". Asian Football Confederation. Archived from the original on 2 September 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ "AFC Competitions Update following meeting of the AFC Executive Committee". Asian Football Confederation. 21 July 2006. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ "Revamp of AFC competitions". Asian Football Confederation. 25 January 2014. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ "ExCo approves expanded AFC Asian Cup finals". Asian Football Confederation. 16 April 2014. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ "AFC Competitions Committee decisions". www.the-afc.com. 12 April 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Competitions Committee takes key decisions". Asian Football Confederation. 22 March 2012. Archived from the original on 2 August 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  9. ^ "Maldives to host 2014 AFC Challenge Cup". Asian Football Confederation. 28 November 2012. Archived from the original on 1 December 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)

External linksEdit