Qatar delegation set for 2018 World Cup Asian zone qualifiers draw
Kuala Lumpur: On Tuesday, attention turns to the Mandarin Oriental hotel in the Malaysian capital when the eyes of the world will be on the draw for the final round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Qualifiers. In total, 12 teams will be involved in the proceedings, namely the eight group winners and the four best second-placed teams from the currently on-going qualification process.
Eight AFC Member Associations have qualified for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Qualifiers Final Round by virtue of finishing as group winners from Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 with another four also qualifying as the four best second-placed teams.
They will be drawn into two groups of six teams to play home-and-away under the round-robin format.
The winner and runner-up of each group (four teams in total) will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia finals while the third-placed teams of each group (two teams in total) will advance to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Play-off Round.
The winner of the Asian Play-off Round (one team in total) will take on the side that finishes fourth in the fifth round of the CONCACAF qualifiers in a two-legged inter-confederation playoff.
The 12 nations, seeded based on the latest FIFA rankings which were released on April 7, will be drawn from six country pots as follows:
Pot 1: Iran (42nd), Australia (50th)
Pot 2: Korea Republic (56th), Japan (57th)
Pot 3: Saudi Arabia (60th), Uzbekistan (66th)
Pot 4: United Arab Emirates (68th), China PR (81st)
Pot 5: Qatar (83rd), Iraq (105th)
Pot 6: Syria (110th), Thailand (119th)