The tussle to be Asia's champion is near, as the 17th edition of Asian Cup kicks-off on January 5 with the game between hosts UAE and Bahrain at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The tournament is sure to grab large viewerships as the number of teams is expanded from 16 to 24 for the first time this edition. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will be in an attempt to restore people's interest in the tournament and attract large numbers to the stadiums.
World class stadiums are a must for successful campaigns and it will be demanded both by teams and spectators. While the teams wouldn't want their players to risk their careers playing at below par grounds, the fans would want to make their match experiences memorable.
In an attempt to offer the best experiences, the UAE Football Association has scheduled 8 stadiums across 4 cities to conduct the continental championship.
Here, we take a look at the stadiums that will be used for the football festival lasting from January 5 to February 1.
#1 Zayed Sports City Stadium
The Zayed Sports City stadium is located in Abu Dhabi and has a capacity to hold 43000 viewers. The ground will be at use in 8 matches including 5 group stage games.
Zayed Sports City stadium is the largest stadium in the country and will be the most key venue of the tournament. The opening match between UAE and Bahrain and the finals on February 1 are scheduled to play here.
The stadium was founded in 1979 and has hosted events like AFC Asian Cup 1996, Gulf Cup of Nations 2007 and Fifa Club World Cup of 2009 and 2010. The 2017 Fifa Club World Cup final was played here.
The UAE senior team uses this as their home ground and will have the benefit of playing 2 of their group matches here.
#2 Hazza Bin Sayed Stadium
The Hazza Bin Sayed Stadium is at Al Ain, approximately 150 kilometers from Abu Dhabi. With a capacity to offer space for 25965 spectators, this is one of the newest stadia in the Middle East.
Having been built in 2014, the ground will be in use in 8 matches including one semi-final.
Hazza Bin Sayed Stadium hasn't hosted many international matches, its only notable events being the FIFA Club World Cup matches of 2017 and 2018.
The stadium is the home ground of Fifa Club World Cup runners-up Al Ain FC.