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 By Paul Murphy

AFC predicts that expanded 2019 Asian Cup will spark football boom

P.J. Roberts makes his picks for the International Player of 2017 and Men's Player of 2017 honours at the AFC Annual Awards.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have revealed ambitious plans to use the expanded 2019 Asian Cup to make football Asia's number one sport.

The 2019 tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will showcase the best of Asian talent and feature Thailand and Vietnam as Southeast Asia's representatives, while the Philippines and Myanmar are still in with a chance of qualifying.

The Organising Committee for the continental championship met in Bangkok this week and outlined their vision for the...

Matildas' star Sam Kerr finalist for top Asian player of 2017

Jason Dasey and Gary Phillips assess what Australia must improve upon ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
Australia won the inaugural Tournament of Nations with their third and most decisive victory of the competition over Brazil.
Australia's Mark Milligan and Bailey Wright recap a long qualifying campaign and what to expect from them at the World Cup.

Australia's Sam Kerr is on the three-player shortlist for the Asian Women's Player of the Year, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced on Saturday.

Kerr was controversially excluded from the final list of nominees for FIFA equivalent award in September, despite a stellar season for the Matildas and Perth Glory. Japan's Saki Kumagai and Sung Hyang-Sim of North Korea are also on the shortlist, but Kerr is the front runner to win the top prize.

The 24-year-old's exclusion from the final shortlist...

United Arab Emirates official: Qatar review a must before 2022 World Cup

Anwar Gargash Emirati minister
Anwar Gargash is United Arab Emirates' minister of state for foreign affairs.

United Arab Emirates' minister of state for foreign affairs has commented on Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup in light of the diplomatic crisis between Doha and four Arab nations.

Anwar Gargash wrote on Twitter on Tuesday: "Qatar's hosting of World Cup 2022 should include a repudiation of policies supporting extremism and terrorism. Doha should review its record.

"Hosting World Cup 2022 should not be tainted by support of extremist individuals and organisations/terrorist figures, review of...

 By John Duerden

Edgardo Bauza replaces Van Marwijk as Saudi Arabia boss for World Cup

Just over a week after guiding Saudi Arabia to a fifth World Cup, Bert van Marwijk has been replaced as head coach by Edgardo Bauza.

In a shock move, Argentina's Bauza leaves his post in charge of United Arab Emirates to make the short trip to occupy the hot seat in Riyadh only nine months ahead of Russia 2018.

Van Marwijk, who took his native Netherlands to the final of the 2010 tournament, was appointed in August 2015 and sealed a place in Russia 2018 on Sept. 5 with a 1-0 home win over Japan...

Japan book World Cup place, China win while Koreans draw with Iran

Japan qualified for their sixth straight World Cup following their 2-0 win over Australia.
Australia's Jackson Irvine credits Japan's game plan and still feels Australia can qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Japan booked their berth at next year's World Cup finals as Vahid Halilhodzic's side handed Australia a 2-0 defeat on Thursday evening that guarantees the Samurai Blue top spot in Group B of Asia's qualifying campaign for Russia 2018.

Takuma Asano gave the Japanese the lead four minutes before the half-time break when he was left unmarked to slide Yuto Nagatomo's cross beyond Mat Ryan to put Japan in front after Mathew Leckie had earlier hit the post for the Socceroos.

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