Football

India get comparatively easy 2022 FIFA World Cup draw; clubbed with Qatar, Oman, Afghanistan, Bangladesh

Think tank: Coach Igor Stimac will bank on Sunil Chettri to lead the way for India. Photo courtesy: AIFF

Think tank: Coach Igor Stimac will bank on Sunil Chettri to lead the way for India. Photo courtesy: AIFF  

Coach Stimac, however, terms it a very tough challenge

The Indian football team was Wednesday handed a comparatively easy draw for the 2022 World Cup second round Asian qualifiers, being clubbed with Qatar, Oman, Afghanistan and Bangladesh in Group E.

India get comparatively easy 2022 FIFA World Cup draw; clubbed with Qatar, Oman, Afghanistan, Bangladesh
 

The 40 Asian countries were divided into eight groups of five teams each in the draw held at the Asian Football Confederation headquarters here. All the teams in each group will play home-and-away round-robin matches starting from September 5.

The eight group winners and four best runners-up will advance to the final round of 2022 World Cup qualifiers and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Finals.

India head coach Igor Stimac termed the draw “a very tough challenge”.

“It will be an enormous challenge for your young team. We have been drawn into a very tough group,” Stimac said.

“We need to respect everyone, not only teams from Pot 1, and Pot 2, but even teams from Pot 3, and Pot 4. The Intercontinental Cup showed to all how strange a game of football is. The two teams which are playing the final (Tajikistan, and DPR Korea) are the lowest FIFA ranked teams in the tournament. That shows that everyone can beat everyone,” he said.

“I will teach the team to respect the opposition, but when we step on to the pitch, we will do everything to win. We are just at the beginning of our journey. I hope that it will be a long one,” he added.

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Printable version | May 24, 2020 3:39:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/india-gets-relatively-easy-draw/article28525400.ece

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