FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers - India's Draws, Fixtures & Schedule
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Updated: 14 August 2023

FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers Draw – India’s, Fixtures, Schedule, And Group. The Blue Tigers will compete in Group A during the FIFA World Cup 2026 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2. Their opponents in this group are Qatar, Kuwait, and the winners of the Round 1 match between Afghanistan and Mongolia. The draw took place at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Thursday, July 27, 2023.

FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers – Second Round

India is getting ready for a new World Cup qualifying campaign. They recently defeated Kuwait in the final of the SAFF Championship and tied with Qatar, who will win the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

The campaign will commence later this year and extend until June 2024. In Group A, Qatar, who hosted the previous men’s World Cup, holds the highest rank at 59, while India follows closely at 99 and Kuwait at 137. Let’s keep an eye on how Igor Stimac’s side performs in this upcoming competition.

Also Read: Asian Games 2023: Football Schedule, Teams List, And India Squad

In the second round of qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, 36 teams will be grouped into 9 groups of 4. In a home-and-away round-robin style, each team will play each other once. The top two teams in each group will move on to the next round and earn a spot in the Asian Cup in 2027. The remaining teams will move on to the third round of the Asian Cup qualification.

Considering India’s recent match against Kuwait and the difference in rankings between India and Afghanistan/Mongolia, Igor Stimac and the team should aim to finish second in their group. Doing so would be a significant step, demonstrating sustained competitiveness at the Asian level – something that Indian football has been striving for.

India earned a spot in Pot 2 by doing well in the Intercontinental Cup and the SAFF Championship. Lebanon was their main competitor for the Pot 2 spot, but India managed to defeat them twice during both competitions. Among the 36 teams, 26 received byes to this round, while the remaining 10 spots will be filled by the winners of the first-round matches, which are yet to be played.

FIFA World Cup 2026, Qualifiers 2nd Round Draw, Groups

Group A: Qatar, Kuwait, India, Afghanistan/Mongolia

Group B: Japan, North Korea, Syria, Myanmar/Macau

Group C: South Korea, Thailand, China, Singapore/Guam

Group D: Oman, Chinese Taipei/Timor-Leste, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia 

Group E: Iran, Hong Kong China/Bhutan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Group F: Iraq, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia/Brunei

Group G: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Cambodia/Pakistan

Group H: UAE, Bahrain, Yemen/Sri Lanka, Nepal/Laos

Group I: Australia, Palestine, Lebanon, Maldives/Bangladesh

Also Read: Can India Qualify For FIFA World Cup 2026? – Explained

FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier Second Round Schedule

The FIFA World Cup 2026 AFC qualifiers will start on November 16, 2023, and end on June 11, 2024. During this stage, 36 football teams will compete to earn a spot in the tournament. It’s important to mention that 26 of these teams, including India, have already secured direct entry into the second round. The remaining 10 slots will be determined through the first round of matches involving 20 teams.

India’s Fixture For FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier Second Round

16 Nov 2023Kuwait vs India
21 Nov 2023India vs Qatar
21 Mar 2024Mongolia/Afghanistan vs India
26 Mar 2024India vs Mongolia/Afghanistan
6 Jun 2024India vs Kuwait
11 Jun 2024Qatar vs India