Chances of India qualifying for the FIFA World Cup

The 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup which is scheduled from the 21st of November to the 18th of December, 2022 has already begun to grip football fanatics all over the globe in its fervour. Being held in Qatar, this is the second World Cup to be held in an Asian country and the first ever World Cup to be held in the Arab world. Moreover, this edition of FIFA World Cup will for the last time host a total of 32 nations, the total number of teams being increased to 48 for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup was taken home by France and speculations are rife about the teams from the Asian Football Confederation who would qualify and be seen competing in the upcoming championship.

The minimum number of teams that can qualify for the FIFA World Cup from the Asian Football Confederation is four while the maximum being five. While four teams gain a sure shot entry into the FIFA World Cup, the entry of the fifth team remains elusive and largely depends on their performance. They might not gain an entry if their performance is not absolutely top notch in the inter confederation tournament.

If we take Group A, the best performing teams are China and Syria. Syria reigns Group A after winning all of the five matches they have played. As far as Group B is considered, Australia and Kuwait are the top teams, with Australia seemingly qualifying for the international tournament. In Group C, Iraq, Bahrain and Iran occupy the first, second and third place respectively. However, Iran having played only four matches unlike Iraq and Bahrain who have played five matches each and owing to their greater experience might soon overtake Bahrain and go on to qualify for the World Cup along with Iraq.

Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia reign supreme in Group D with Saudi Arabia even having previously played in the FIFA World Cup.

As far as Group E is concerned Qatar, Oman and India seem to be performing well. However, India despite having performed well in the first match bombed in the end. The Indian team’s potential was reinforced by playing against Qatar at 0-0, but then India again went on to play a 1-1 draw each against Afghanistan and Bangladesh before losing to Oman at 1-0. Qatar having already qualified as a host country makes way for Oman to get through the qualifying stage.

Japan is most likely to get qualified for the FIFA World Cup from Group F, followed by Vietnam and South Korea.

So the top four teams from the Asian Football Confederation who are likely to make it to the World Cup owing to their experience and performance are Japan, Australia, Iraq and Iran. Syria or Saudi Arabia have a probable chance of getting past the qualifying round as the fifth team.

Even though the Indian Football team have a slim chance of qualifying for the World Cup, not all hope is lost. If Oman loses all of its remaining three matches against Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Qatar and if India manages to win all of its matches against the above mentioned three countries while simultaneously maintaining a good goal difference, then India might have a shot at qualifying for the third round. However getting past the third stage would be a task of its own for the country.

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