Qatar to host India’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers
India only have a mathematical chance to advance but a number 3 finish in Group E will help them clinch a berth in the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers.
Qatar will host the Indian football team’s remaining 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier ties when they resume in June.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Friday confirmed the centralised venues for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Doha, the host city for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, is set to welcome Group E teams that include India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Oman and reigning Asian champions Qatar.
India last played Oman in their World Cup qualifiers in November 2019 following which matches were suspended in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially, the AFC had plans of resuming the qualifiers in September and then in March, but the prevailing conditions across the continent and travel restrictions imposed by various countries forced AFC to postpone the matches till June.
The Indian football team, out of action for over a year, will return to competitive football later this month when they play friendlies against UAE and Oman.
The Sunil Chhetri-led Indian team has played five matches in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers so far and is placed fourth in Group E with three points.
With just the eight group winners and the four best second-placed teams making the next round, India’s chances of making the cut look bleak.
However, India will be keen to do well in their remaining matches. If they finish third in their group, the Indian football team can make the cut for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
Lead image: AIFF Media