The Asian Football Confederation announced the new format Wednesday after dispensing with a re-draw following negotiations with Indonesian organizers of the games. The Aug. 14-Sept. 1 competition will feature 26 teams in two groups of five and four groups of four. The AFC said the top two teams in each group and the four best third-place teams will advance to the second round.
Each country is allowed to add three overage players to its squad of under-23s.
The Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang are co-hosting the games, which feature athletes from 45 countries and regions and officially open Aug. 18.
Group A: Indonesia, Hong Kong, Laos, Taiwan, Palestine.
Group C: Iraq, China, East Timor, Syria.
Group E: South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates