Bhubaneswar in Guwahati will host India’s first two World Cup qualifiers

The All India Football Federation on Saturday, September 2, 2023 announced Bhubaneswar and Guwahati as the venues for India’s first two home matches in the 2nd preliminary round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup and 2027 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers.

India have been drawn into Group A of the Asian qualifiers along with Qatar, Kuwait and the winners of the preliminary round of the 1st round of the joint qualifier between Afghanistan and Mongolia.

The Blue Tigers will begin their campaign against an away game in Kuwait on November 16, 2023, before hosting reigning Asian Cup champions AFC Qatar at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on November 21, 2023.

Next year, India will play back-to-back matches against either Afghanistan or Mongolia, starting with the away match on 21 March 2024, before returning home to the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati for the second match on 26 March 2024.

AIFF General Secretary Dr. After the announcement, Shaji Prabhakaran said, “We would like to congratulate Odisha Football Association and Assam Football Association for successfully bidding for the hosting rights of the above matches and wish them success in broadcasting the said matches at world level with the support of their respective state governments.”

The hosts for India’s home rematch against Kuwait on June 6, 2024 will be confirmed at a later date.

Ferdinand Medina

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