The Indian U14 national team has been drawn to an interesting Group D for the AFC U14 Championship 2014 qualifiers.
A total of 46 nations were drawn to eight qualifying groups for the continent’s new national competition during the draw ceremony at the AFC House, Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. The participating teams were divided into four zones namely West, Central & South, ASEAN and East Zone.
The Indian juniors will face arch rivals Pakistan, hosts Iran, Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan in the Central & South Zone of the qualifiers.
The AFC decided to move South Asian neighbours Bangladesh to the ASEAN Zone since there were 13 teams from the Central & South Zone. Bangladesh is geographically the nearest to Southeast Asia and therefore they would play against the likes of Thailand and Indonesia.
India’s Group D will be hosted by Iran and the dates for the qualifying matches are yet to be determined.
The top two teams from each zone will qualify for the finals of the AFC U14 Championship 2014.
AFC U14 CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 – Qualifying Groups
Group A: Oman (hosts), Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and UAE.
Group B: Saudi Arabia (hosts), Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Palestine and Yemen.
Central & South
Group C: Nepal (hosts), Bhutan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Maldives and Afghanistan.
Group D: Iran (hosts), Pakistan, India, Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan.
Group E: Myanmar (hosts), Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Timor Leste.
Group F: Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Singapore and Cambodia.
Group G: China (hosts), Northern Mariana Islands, Korea Republic, Chinese Taipei and Guam.
Group H: Mongolia, Hong Kong, DPR Korea, Macau and Japan.