|Dates||30 July – 13 August|
|Venue(s)||3 (in 2 host cities)|
|Champions||India (1st title)|
|Third place||North Korea|
|Goals scored||41 (2.56 per match)|
|Attendance||15,900 (994 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Pak Song-Chol |
|Best player(s)||Bhaichung Bhutia|
The 2008 AFC Challenge Cup football tournament was hosted by India and played from 30 July – 13 August 2008. India won the final against Tajikistan. India was also the winner of the fair play award and the India captain Bhaichung Bhutia won the most valuable player award.
Chinese Taipei was originally designated the host, but could not guarantee it would meet the AFC's standards for hosting the tournament. Thailand was first chosen as host but withdrew due to lack of time to prepare. The Philippines also was to take over as host with matches to be played in Bacolod in May 2008 but the plan failed to materialized.
The winners of the 2008 and 2010 competitions will qualify directly for the 2011 Asian Cup. This competition is exclusive to members of the emerging nations class of the AFC. However, in the previous edition, Bangladesh and India were invited from the developing nations class - Bangladesh actually hosting the tournament, and India sending their under-20 team. India and Bangladesh have again been invited for the 2008 edition of the tournament, along with North Korea, Myanmar and Turkmenistan who are also a part of the developing nations class.
Due to the poor conditions of the pitch at Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, the AFC moved the majority of the matches to another venue. It was decided that ten matches would be played at the Gachibowli Athletic Stadium, and two at the LBS Stadium. Due to incessant rains in Hyderabad in the days leading up to the final, the AFC changed the venue of the final and the third place play-off to the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi.
Qualification saw the top team from each of the four qualification groups qualify for the tournament proper, bringing the total number of participating teams in the centralized finals to eight. In addition, India (tournament hosts), Korea DPR, Turkmenistan and Myanmar qualified automatically.
Bold Type - qualified teams, Italics - withdrawn teams
|Gachibowli Athletic Stadium||Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium||Ambedkar Stadium|
|Capacity: 30,000||Capacity: 30,000||Capacity: 20,000|
The following teams qualified for the final tournament:
- India (Host)
- North Korea (Automatic Qualifier)
- Turkmenistan (Automatic Qualifier)
- Myanmar (Automatic Qualifier)
- Sri Lanka (Winner Qualification Group A)
- Tajikistan (Winner Qualification Group B)
- Afghanistan (Winner Qualification Group C)
- Nepal (Winner Qualification Group D)
|Key to colours in group tables|
|Top two placed teams advance to the semi-finals|
Where two or more teams end the group stage with the same number of points, their ranking is determined by the following criteria:
- points earned in the matches between the teams concerned;
- goal difference in the matches between the teams concerned;
- number of goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned;
- goal difference in all group matches;
- number of goals scored in all group matches;
- kicks from the penalty mark (if only two teams are level and they are both on the field of play);
- fewer yellow and red cards received in the group matches;
- drawing of lots by the organising committee.
|Rabiev 11'||Report||Tuychiev 61' (o.g.)|
|Report||Öwekow 1', 41', 77', 80'
|Orazmämmedow 84'||Report||Bhutia 54', 80'|
|Report||Rabiev 14', 44', 56'
|North Korea||3–0||Sri Lanka|
|Peiris 5' (o.g.)
Pak Song-Chol 9', 27'
|Yazar Win Thein 66'
Myo Min Tun 76'
Soe Myat Min 86'
|Jayasuriya 51'||Report||Soe Myat Min 47'
Yan Paing 70'
Si Thu Win 85'
|Report||Pak Song-Chol 39'|
|Ro Hak-Su 15'||Report|
J.M. Rai 55'
|07 August - Hyderabad|
|13 August - New Delhi|
|07 August - Hyderabad|
|13 August - New Delhi|
Third place play-off
|Report||Pak Song-Chol 10', 12', 44' (pen.)
Ro Hak-Su 53'
|Chhetri 9', 23', 75'
|2008 AFC Challenge Cup Champions|
|Fair Play Award||Golden Shoe||Most Valuable Player|
|India||Pak Song-Chol||Bhaichung Bhutia|
- The Roon Ba News, 17 December 2007 Archived 28 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Thailand replaces Taiwan as 2008 Challenge Cup host
- India almost set to host Asian Challenge Cup
- Tupas, Cedelf (18 February 2008). "Asian Challenge Cup in Bacolod uncertain". The Visayan Daily Star. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
- "Laos withdraws from Challenge Cup". Archived from the original on 5 May 2008. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
- "Palestine withdraws from Challenge Cup". Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
- "AFC Challenge Cup Venues Changed". Archived from the original on 28 July 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2008.
- "New Delhi to host AFC Challenge Cup final on Aug 13". Retrieved 13 August 2008.[permanent dead link]
- AFC Challenge Cup final shifted Archived 20 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- AFC Asian Cup 2011 and AFC Challenge Cup 2008: AFC announces seedings and revised qualification process Archived 23 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine