The draw for the first and second rounds of qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup (USA, Mexico, Canada) and the 2027 AFC Asian Cup (Saudi Arabia) will be held at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
The 2026 edition of the World Cup will be an expanded 48-team affair hence fourty five AFC-affiliated nations will have the chance to qualify for the tournament. The qualification process will be played over five rounds while the first two will also double up as the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
The 45 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) teams will be segregated into four pots and will be drawn into nine groups of four teams each. The 18 teams from pot 4 will compete in the first round qualifiers in October, where they will face off in a two-legged tie to qualify for the second round.
How many teams from AFC can qualify for FIFA World Cup 2026?
The 2026 edition will see the number of AFC qualification slots go up to 8 and 1 inter-confederation playoff spot.
Which pot is India placed in?
India is the 18th highest-ranked team in Asia, which confirms the Blue Tigers a place in pot 2 of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers.
Being in pot 2 of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers means that India will be the lowest-ranked team in the pot and will avoid the Asian teams ranked between 10 and 17 in the World Cup qualifiers.
India could, however, draw one of the top eight teams in Pot 1 and will find itself in a group with two other teams ranked lower than India from pots 3 and 4.
Segregation of teams by pots
When are India’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers matches?
Being placed in pot 2, India will play in the second round of FIFA qualifiers for the AFC nations will begin in October 2023. The opening round of matches in each group will be played on November 16 and 21, and followed by two more rounds of two-legged matches in March and June.
What time is the AFC’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers draw in IST?
The draw for the first and second rounds of AFC’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers will take place in AFC House on July 27 in Malaysia from 1.30 PM IST (4 PM MYT) onwards.
Where to watch AFC’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers draw?
The draw for AFC’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers cane be streamed live on AFC Asian Cup’s Youtube channel on July 27.
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