By the end of the draw, 20 teams will have been slotted into five groups of four each with the top two teams qualifying for the finals in Qatar.

A direct bye into the finals has been granted to current Asian champions Iraq, 2007 runners-up Saudi Arabia, third-place team South Korea, and host Qatar.

In addition, the winners of the AFC Challenge Cups in 2008 and 2010 will also make the final 16.

Based on the results of the 2007 Asian Cup and its qualifiers, Japan, Australia, Iran and Uzbekistan are the seeded nations and will not be drawn against each other in the qualifiers.

Other countries in the hat include Bahrain, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore, Syria, Thailand, UAE, Vietnam, and Yemen.