The draw of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 will take place at the Katara Opera House in Doha on May 11, 2023. India qualified in two consecutive editions of the tournament for the first time in its history and its groupings will be finalised on Thursday.
After the Philippines lost to Palestine, India secured its qualification even before its last qualifying game against Hong Kong. But the Blue Tigers completed the campaign, winning all the games.
This will be India’s fifth appearance in the AFC Asian Cup, with the Blue Tigers having participated at the continental level in 1964, 1984, 2011, and 2019 previously.
Their best finish in Asia has been a runners-up place in the 1964 edition of the competition.
How does the draw work?
Twenty-four teams have qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2023, which will be held in Qatar from January 12 to February 10, 2024.
The teams will be divided into six groups of four teams each across Groups A to F. The Host and defending champion Qatar will start from Pot 1 and will be the first team to be drawn into Group A, with the rest to be drawn arbitrarily into all the groups (A-F).
India is placed in Pot 4, along with debutant Tajikistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia
Pots before the draw:
- Pot 1: Qatar (Host), Japan, IR Iran, Korea Republic, Australia, Saudi Arabia
- Pot 2: Iraq, UAE, Oman, Uzbekistan, China, Jordan
- Pot 3: Bahrain, Syria, Palestine, Vietnam, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon
- Pot 4: India, Tajikistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia
How does qualification work in the AFC Asian Cup?
The top two and four best third-placed teams advance into the final 16 of the competition before the Asian champion is crowned on February 10, 2024.
What has the India coach said before the draw?
“There’s great anticipation before the draw. There’s still some time left until the competition itself, and I would say that it is very important, how well we use that time to prepare, rather than concentrate on who our opponents will be,” Igor Stimac was quoted telling the AIFF website.
“I truly believe in our team and the work that they put in, and with the support of the huge Indian fan base in Qatar, we can achieve our goals,” he added.
Where to watch the AFC Asian Cup 2023 draw?
The AFC Asian Cup 2023 draw will be live-streamed on the YouTube channel of the tournament from 4:30 pm tomorrow.
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