India Draw Group D in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers
The India national men’s football team draws Group D in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers and competes against fellow mates Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Hong Kong. The games are scheduled for later this year. India is the host for this round of qualifiers, and Kolkata will host the matches. China will host the 18th edition of the AFC Asian Cup scheduled from 16 June 2023 to 16 July 2023. AFC Asian Cup games will be played in Shanghai, China’s new Pudong Football Stadium.
The AFC Asian Cup is a quadrennial international men’s football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Twenty-four teams are participating in the AFC Asian Cup tournament, but they are only competing for 11 vacant slots for the actual tournament next year. Defending champions Qatar will only join in the 2nd round of qualifiers but automatically qualify to the World Cup for winning the championship last time out. China also joins in the 2nd round only for the World Cup qualifiers but automatically qualifies to the Asian Cup as the host nation.
India is the heavy favourite to win in Group D as they rank 104th in the FIFA world rankings. Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Hong Kong rank 150th, 171st, and 148th, respectively. However, the Indian national men’s football team is still depleted with numerous players on its injury list. Regardless of their advantage on paper, they still need their team to be healthy and in full strength to dominate their group. The Afghans, Cambodians, and Hong Kong nationals cannot be counted out at this level of competition in a prestigious tournament.
Here are the Final Round Draw results, which has been held virtually in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Thursday, 24 February:
Group A: Jordan (A1), Kuwait (A2) (H), Indonesia (A3), Nepal (A4)
Group B: Palestine (B1), Philippines (B2), Yemen (B3), Mongolia (B4) (H)
Group C: Uzbekistan (C1) (H), Thailand (C2), Maldives (C3), Srilanka (C4)
Group D: India (D1) (H), Hong Kong (D2) Afghanistan (D3), Cambodia (D4)
Group E: Bahrain (E1) Turkmenistan (E2) Malaysia (E3) (H), Bangladesh (E4)
Group F: Kyrgyz Republic (F1) (H), Tajikistan (F2), Myanmar (F3), Singapore (F4)