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All eyes on Asia ahead of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar draw

AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar

The focus of the world’s most populous Continent and beyond will be riveted on Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 1 July 2021, when the virtual draw for the final round of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar takes centrestage as Asia’s top 12 nations discover their opponents in their quest to seal the coveted spots for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

With the excitement and anticipation reaching fever pitch, some of Asia’s most renowned tacticians are expected to join the virtual draw, which will divide 12 teams into two groups of six each, with the winners and runners-up sealing their places for the global showpiece, while the third-placed teams will advance to the Asian playoff to determine the side that will advance to the intercontinental playoff.

Based on the special FIFA Ranking released for Asian teams on June 18, top seeds Japan and the Islamic Republic of Iran will take their places in Pot 1, with Pot 2 comprising Australia and Korea Republic while Pot 3 will include Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Pot 4 will contain Iraq and China PR, followed by Oman and Syria in Pot 5 and debutants Vietnam and Lebanon completing the line-up in Pot 6. The draw will begin with Pot 6, with the first and second balls drawn from each pot placed in Groups A and B respectively until the sequence is completed all the way through to Pot 1.

The AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar is scheduled to be played on the following 10 match days: September 2 and 7, October 7 and 12, and November 11 and 16, 2021, as well as January 27 and February 1, 2022, before reaching its climax on March 24 and 29, 2022.

Watch the final round draw of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar on Thursday, July 1 at 3:00pm (+8 GMT).