BANGKOK, March 30 (Xinhua) -- China will face a tough Group C in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-17 Asian Cup Thailand 2023 following the draw made here on Thursday.
China returned to the competition after being absent from the previous edition in 2018. The other three teams in China's group - the 2018 runner-up Tajikistan, Australia and Saudi Arabia - were all group winners in the qualifiers.
China lost to Australia 3-1 in the qualifiers, but qualified as one of the best group runner-up.
The 16 teams are divided into four groups for the tournament scheduled for June 15 to July 2, which will see the top four sides qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2023 in November.
Hosts Thailand, champion in 1998, is grouped with Malaysia, Laos, as well as Yemen.
Two-time champion South Korea is drawn in an exciting Group B with Iran, Afghanistan and Qatar.
Japan, the 2018 champion and three-time winner, will face India, Vietnam and Uzbekistan in Group D.