Men’s soccer at the Hangzhou Asian Games is in chaos. Just one day before the first round of group matches, two teams have pulled out.
Japanese soccer publication Gekisaker reported on March 18, “According to local Chinese media, the national teams of Syria and Afghanistan, which are in Group C of the Hangzhou Asian Games, have decided to withdraw. Syria was the first to announce its intention to withdraw. Afghanistan also decided to withdraw due to security issues and difficulties in securing players. Both teams were scheduled to play in Group C. This left only Uzbekistan and Hong Kong in Group C. Only two teams have decided to continue the challenge. Although no statement has been released, the official website has already reported that Syria and Afghanistan have been removed from Group C.
A total of 23 countries were originally scheduled to participate in the tournament 안전놀이터. They were divided into six groups (only three in Group D), with the top four teams from the first, second, and third places in each group advancing to the round of 16. But things changed quickly in Group C. The outlet reported, “Group C is down to two teams. It is unlikely that the group will be reshuffled. Instead, Group C will reportedly feature two teams playing each other twice. Nevertheless, Uzbekistan and Hong Kong could still advance to the round of 16 regardless of the outcome of their matches. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will be consulted on the feasibility of this. It is understood that there is a possibility that the round of 16 will be adjusted.
There is a reason why Japan is paying extra attention to the Group C situation. Japan is in Group D. They face Palestine and Qatar. If they advance to the round of 16, they will play one of the top three teams from Pool A, B, or C. The second-place finisher in Group D will face the second-place finisher in Group C in the first round of the tournament. Japan will have their hands full.