Doha, Qatar: The AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 has achieved a groundbreaking total attendance record of 1.06 million, with 63,753 enthusiastic fans filling Al Bayt Stadium to witness Qatar's triumph over Palestine in the Round of 16. This edition of Asia's premier football event, the 18th in its history, officially surpassed the previous record of 1.04 million attendees, set nearly two decades ago during the 2004 tournament held in China PR.
Datuk Seri Windsor John, General Secretary of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), remarked, "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. Football has the undeniable power to unite communities, and nowhere is that more palpable than right here in Qatar on Asia’s most prestigious stage. This achievement is a tribute to our passionate fans and our dear friends from the Qatar Football Association and the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 Local Organising Committee, and the AFC would like to extend our deep sense of gratitude to all our stakeholders and the people of Qatar for their unrivaled and warm hospitality."
Jassim Al Jassim, CEO of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 Local Organising Committee (LOC), emphasized that these record-breaking attendances underscore Qatar's prowess in hosting world-class sporting events. He stated, "Once again, Qatar has reaffirmed its place as a global sporting capital. Our modern infrastructure and operational experience have enabled us to deliver yet another accessible and culturally engaging tournament to the highest standards." Al Jassim added, "We’re delighted to be setting records this early in the tournament. With 11 matches still to go, the best is yet to come, with many teams showcasing exceptional performances."
After 40 matches, the Asian Cup, which recently surpassed the historic 1.5 billion mark in digital engagement, currently ranks second in the average attendance charts, with 26,672 fans per match. This milestone follows the earlier achievement in Qatar when 82,490 fans set a new record for an opening match in AFC Asian Cup history as title-holders Qatar defeated Lebanon at the spectacular Lusail Stadium on January 12.