The joint draw for AFC FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers and Asia Cup 2027 was held on Thursday at headquarters of the Asian Soccer federation in the Malaysian capital, where the State of Kuwait came in Group A along with Qatar and India.
The draw distributed 36 teams to nine groups, each comprising four teams, set to compete between November 2023 and June 2024. The Kuwaiti team will play its first match against India on November 16. The first and second will qualify for the Asia Cup 2027 due in Saudi Arabia and finals of the World Cup 2026, scheduled in Canada, Mexico and the US. The 2026 edition of the World Cup will be an expanded 48-team affair hence forty-five AFCaffiliated nations will have the chance to qualify for the tournament. The qualification process will be played over five rounds while the first two will also double up as the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
The 45 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) teams will be segregated into four pots and will be drawn into nine groups of four teams each. The 18 teams from pot 4 will compete in the firstround qualifiers in October, where they will face off in a two-legged tie to qualify for the second round.
These are the groups: Group A: Qatar, India, Kuwait, Afghanistan/Mongolia Group B: Japan, Syria, DPR Korea, Myanmar/Macau Group C: Korea Republic, China PR, Thailand,Singapore/Guam Group D: Oman, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Chinese Taipei/TimorLeste Group E: IR Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Hong Kong/China v Bhutan Group F: Iraq, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia v Brunei Darussalam Group G: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Cambodia/Pakistan Group H: UAE, Bahrain, Yemen/Sri Lanka, Nepal/Laos Group I: Australia, Palestine, Lebanon, Maldives v Bangladesh.