Kuala Lumpur, The 16 participating teams in the AFC Futsal Asian Cup Kuwait 2022 have been confirmed following the conclusion of the Qualifiers on Saturday.
Kuwait, hosts of the 2022 edition, will welcome Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Japan, Korea Republic and Chinese Taipei, when the tournament kicks off in September. The Southeast region was the first to kick off, with the 2022 AFF Futsal Championship serving as the Qualifiers.
Thailand and Indonesia proved to be the frontrunners in Group A after recording an undefeated record with three wins and a draw each to see them through to the semi-finals, while Vietnam and Myanmar also reached the last four with two wins and a draw to their name in Group B. Thailand and Indonesia were the first teams to qualify after reaching the final, with the War Elephants eventually crowned as Southeast champions for a record 16th time.
Vietnam also secured their place in Kuwait 2022 after beating Myanmar on penalties to finish third in the regional tournament. Seven teams played in the West Zone Qualifiers, with Lebanon winning the four-team Group A with two wins and a draw, followed by second place Saudi Arabia with a win and two draws.
Iraq and Bahrain also confirmed their spots in the Finals after a securing top two finish in Group B, with the former ahead on goal difference.
Oman will also join their fellow West Asian rivals after winning the play-off tie against the United Arab Emirates.
There was little doubt of Islamic Republic of Iran's prowess, as the defending Asian champions cruised to three wins with 28 goals scored and only one conceded to top Group A. Turkmenistan will be making their first appearance in the Finals since 2012 after finishing second in the group.
Uzbekistan were equally impressive in Group B to finish top of the standings with three wins from three matches. There was some respite for Tajikistan, as they edged Afghanistan for runners-up finish on goal difference.
Japan outlined their hopes of a fourth AFC Futsal Asian Cup title after a superb performance to win all four matches to finish top of the group with 42 goals scored and three conceded.
Korea Republic will be making their 14th appearance in the Finals after a runners-up finish, followed by Chinese Taipei in third.