New Delhi: The Asian Football Federation (AFC) has accepted the Indian body’s bid to host the third round of the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers, which are scheduled to start on June 8.
The matches will be played at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. China will host the main tournament in 2023.
“We had made an offer to host the third round of the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers and are grateful to the Asian Football Confederation for accepting our offer,” said All India Football Federation (AIFF) general secretary Kushal Das .
“We understand that playing at home, as well as in Kolkata, will be an added advantage for the Blue Tigers in our quest to qualify for the Asian Cup.”
The Indian team was part of the last Asian Cup, but failed to make the knockouts despite beating Thailand in their tournament opener.
Das added: “We had bid with Kolkata as the venue for the qualifiers. The infrastructure in Kolkata is ideally suited to host the qualifiers, with the stadium, practice venues and official accommodation all within a very short distance.”
“The support from the host association and the state government has also always been exemplary. We hope the health parameters will allow fans to see live action at the stadium in June. †
Qualifiers will be held over three match days on June 8, 11 and 14, with the group winners and the top five second-placed teams earning a ticket to the actual tournament, which kicks off on June 16, 2023.
The draw for the final leg of qualifying is scheduled for February 24.
“While 13 teams, including host country China PR, have already qualified from their previous appearances in the second round of the AFC Asian Qualifiers, the final 11 places remain up for grabs for 24 teams in the decisive group stage to be held in June. . in all five AFC zones in six host countries – India, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mongolia and Uzbekistan,” the AFC said in a statement.
The AFC also confirmed that based on the FIFA world ranking as of February 10, the 24 participating teams will be divided into five seeding pots, including the host association pot.
With a current ranking of 104, India will be placed 1st of the group they were drawn in.
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