On July 27, Asian Games 2023 football draws revealed India in a group with China, Bangladesh, Myanmar before FIFA World Cup Qualifiers draw.
India Men’s Football Team Draws Group A for Asian Games 2023. (Photo: PTI)
Indian football fans are buzzing with excitement as the men’s and women’s national teams gear up for Asian Games 2023. The fixture announcement on July 27 heightened anticipation. Initially, doubts arose about India’s participation due to stringent criteria set by the Sports Ministry, requiring a top 8 Asia ranking.
However, a positive turn came when Sports Minister Anurag Thakur granted relaxation, acknowledging recent successes. Victories in the Intercontinental Cup and SAFF Championship propelled India into the top 100 FIFA world rankings.
The football event commences on September 19, just before the Games’ official opening on September 23, culminating in the final match on October 7. Fans eagerly await India’s footballing prowess on the Asian stage.
India’s impressive performances have earned them a spot in Pot 2 for the AFC second round of 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification. Placed in Group A, they will face tough competitors such as Qatar, Kuwait, and the winner of Afghanistan versus Mongolia match.
The draw ceremony took place at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. India’s football achievements, including victories in the Intercontinental Cup and SAFF Championship, secured their position in Pot 2.
Notably, they held Qatar to a draw in the previous World Cup qualifying campaign. The second round involves 36 teams, divided into nine groups, with top two teams advancing to the third round of World Cup qualification. The remaining teams will compete for the 2027 Asian Cup qualification.
ASIAN GAMES 2023
Men’s football draw
Group A: China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, India
Group B: Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mongolia
Group C: Uzbekistan, Syria, Hong Kong, Afghanistan
Group D: Japan, Palestine, Qatar
Group E: South Korea, Kuwait, Thailand, Kuwait
Group F: North Korea, Indonesia, Kyrgyz Republic, Chinese Taipei
Women’s football draw
Group A: China, Uzbekistan, Mongolia
Group B: Chinese Taipei, Thailand, India
Group C: North Korea, Singapore, Cambodia
Group D: Japan, Vietnam, Nepal, Bangladesh
Group E: South Korea, Hong Kong, Philippines, Myanmar
2026 FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
Men’s draw (preliminary)
Group A: Qatar, India, Kuwait, Afghanistan/Mongolia
Group B: Japan, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar/Macau
Group C: South Korea, China, Thailand, Singapore/Guam
Group D: Oman, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Chinese Taipei/Timor-Leste
Group E: Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Hong Kong, China/Bhutan
Group F: Iraq, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia/Brunei
Group G: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Cambodia/Pakistan
Group H: UAE, Bahrain, Yemen/Sri Lanka, Nepal/Laos
Group I: Australia, Palestine, Lebanon, Maldives/Bangladesh