Mehr News – KUALA LUMPUR, The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), in a letter, has officially invited three Iranian referees to make a presence at the upcoming AFC U-16 Championship 2018 qualifiers.
The prestigious continental event will be attended by some 45 Member Associations who have been divided into two zones of WEST (West, South and Central) with 23 teams and EAST (East and ASEAN) with 22 teams. Both zones will have a total of five groups.
During the official draw at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, they were drawn into five groups of five teams and five groups of four teams.
Accordingly, Bijan Heidari and Alireza Ildorum will umpire Group G qualifiers to be hosted Thailand who has been seeded against Laos, Timor-Leste, Northern Mariana Islands and Indonesia.
Also, Hassan Akrami and Arman As’adi will be referees to qualifiers in Group I to compete in Mongolia whose rivals are Cambodia, Australia and Vietnam.
Group H competitions will also be attended by Peyman Heidari as referee and Saeid Ghasemi as an assistant referee. Group H comprises Korea Republic, China, the Philippines and host Myanmar.
Defending champions Iraq, have been grouped with India, Palestine and Nepal who will host the qualifiers in Group D, while the Islamic Republic of Iran – last year’s runners-up – are scheduled to meet Kyrgyz Republic, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Bhutan in Group C.
Elsewhere, two-time champions and 2016 semi-finalists DPR Korea, will face Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Macau and Brunei Darussalam in Group F, with Japan, who also reached last year’s semi-finals drawn in Group J, along with Singapore, Malaysia and Guam.
The ten group winners and five best second-placed teams will advance to the final stage of the tournament, along with the host Member Association.
The AFC U-16 Championship 2018 qualifiers are set to take place from September 16 to 24, 2017.