The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has revealed that the 2023 Asian Cup national teams tournament in Qatar has set a new total attendance record of 1.06 million ahead of the quarter-final stage. 

This came after 63,753 fans attended the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor for Qatar’s win against Palestine in the round of 16 on Sunday (January 28).

The total attendance beat the previous record of 1.04 million set in China in 2004.

AFC general secretary Windsor John said: “From the very beginning, we knew that the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 would take its place as the most accessible and engaging edition in the tournament’s history.”  

The round of 16 continues today (January 31) with Bahrain taking on Japan at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.

The AFC has also claimed that the 2023 Asian Cup has passed 1.5 billion in terms of digital engagement, with the tournament currently ranking second in the cup’s average attendance rankings with an average of 26,672 attendees per match.

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Earlier in the tournament, a new record was set for an opening match in the Asian Cup, with 82,490 fans attending Qatar’s win over Lebanon at the Lusail Stadium on January 12.

This year’s AFC Asia Cup is being held across 30 days, two more than the 2019 edition in the United Arab Emirates. The AFC claims this is part of efforts to “enhance the experience for Asia’s passionate fans as well as the stature and commercial value of the competition."

Notable players from clubs playing in England’s top-tier Premier League include Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton), Wataru Endo (Liverpool), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal), Heung-Min Son (Spurs), and Hee-Chan Hwang (Wolves). Players involved in other major European leagues include Kim Min-Jae (Bayern Munich), Lee Kang-In (PSG), and Takefusa Kubo (Real Sociedad).

Saudi Arabia was recently confirmed to host the 2027 edition of the Asian Cup. It will be the first time the country has hosted the tournament.