Countdown to the first-ever FIFA Arab Cup is all set, the draws for the tournament are out with 23 Arab nations belonging to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) participating in the competition.
The teams are divided into four groups, each group will have four teams, making 16 teams in the final competition. The top nine ranked teams including host Qatar will join the seven winning teams of the qualifying round in the final competition.
The draws are in the following manner:
Group A Group B
Winner of Oman v. Somalia Syria
Winner of Bahrain v. Kuwait Winner of Mauritania v. Yemen
Group C Group D
Saudi Arabia Egypt
Winner of Jordan v. South Sudan Winner of Lebanon v. Djibouti
Winner of Palestine v. Comoros Winner of Libya v. Sudan
The winners and the runner-up for each group will advance to the knockout stage and will fight for the ultimate trophy- the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup. The tournament will serve as a good preparatory tournament for the Arab Countries that will qualify for the World Cup. The teams for the 2022 FIFA World Cup are yet to be finalized with the qualifiers taking place later this year.
India to get exposure of World Cup Venues
Qatar (Host for 2022 FIFA World Cup) will host the 2022 World Cup qualifiers for India. Doha is all set to welcome Group E teams that include India, Oman, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and reigning Asian champions Qatar.
Indian Football team will get exposure to the World Cup like set up as Qatar is gearing up for the upcoming 2021 FIFA Arab Cup and 2022 FIFA World cup.
The Blues have played five 2022 World Cup Qualifiers and are placed fourth in Group E with three points. The chance for making it to the next stage of the world cup qualifiers is bleak for the Indian team but a third-place finish in the group can make the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers for India.
2021 FIFA Arab Cup will act as a preparatory event for the 2022 World Cup
The 2021 FIFA Arab Cup will take place from 1 December 2021 and will conclude on 18 December 2021. This is the same time slot for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held next year. The World Cup will have eight venues across Qatar and in the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup, six of them will be used which is a good opportunity for Qatar to look for the operational readiness for next year’s mega event.
The FIFA Confederations Cup is usually played a year before the World Cup but this time it will not take place as the Arab Cup is seen as a replacement.