Tough draw for holders Iraq
AFC Asian Cup holders Iraq have been handed a tough start to the defence of their crown after being drawn against Iran, Korea DPR and UAE in Group D for the 2011 edition in Qatar.
Iraq, who edged out Saudi Arabia in the 2007 final in Jakarta, were handed the hardest of the four groups. The North Koreans have qualified for the 2010 World Cup and UAE made it through to the final stage of Asian qualifying for South Africa 2010.
Hosts Qatar will be much happier with their lot having been drawn alongside Uzbekistan, China and Kuwait in Group A, while Group B features Saudi Arabia, Japan, Jordan and Syria.
Australia, meanwhile, will take on Korea Republic, Bahrain - whom they beat twice on the way to qualifying for this summer's FIFA World Cup™ - and India in Group C.
Both India and Korea DPR qualified for the continental showpiece by winning the AFC Challenge Cup. The Asian Cup takes place in Qatar from 7 to 29 January.
Draw for 2011 Asian Cup:
Qatar, Kuwait, China, Uzbekistan
Saudi Arabia, Japan, Jordan, Syria
South Korea, India, Australia, Bahrain
Iraq, North Korea, UAE, Iran