Hosts Indonesia will be in a testing Group A of the AFC Under-19 Championship following the official draw today.

Indonesia, who will be hosting the prestigious tournament for the third time and having been crowned champions in 1961, will go up against United Arab Emirates, 2014 champions Qatar and Chinese Taipei in Group A.

Defending champions Japan, who earned their first title in the previous edition, will face Thailand, DPR Korea and Iraq, who have won the title five times in Group B.

Twelve-time champions Korea Republic, suffered heartbreak in 2016 when they narrowly missed out on the Knockout Stage due to goal difference, will be aiming to do better against Vietnam, Australia and Jordan in Group C.

Two-time champions and 2016 runners-up Saudi Arabia are grouped with Tajikistan, 1985 winners China PR and Malaysia in Group D.

“We hope that the tournament which will take place in Jakarta in October will show the very best of youth football and escalate the level of football across Asia,” said acting President of the FA of Indonesia (PSSI) Joko Driyono.

The tournament kicks off on 18 October 2018, but there is more than just the AFC U-19 Championship title on the line, as the top four teams will also secure their spots in the FIFA U-20 World Cup next year in Poland.

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