Bhubaneswar, Guwahati to host India’s first two FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


PTI, Sep 2, 2023, 10:59 AM IST

Bhubaneswar and Guwahati will host India’s opening two home matches in the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2, the All India Football Federation announced on Saturday.

India have been drawn in Group A of the Asian qualifiers, alongside Qatar, Kuwait, and the winners of the Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 fixture between Afghanistan and Mongolia.

The Blue Tigers will open their campaign with an away fixture against Kuwait on November 16 before hosting reigning AFC Asian Cup champions Qatar at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on November 21 this year.

In 2024, India will play back-to-back matches against Afghanistan or Mongolia, starting with the away fixture on March 21 and then return home to the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati, where they will play the second leg of the tie on March 26.

”We would like to congratulate Football Association of Odisha and Assam Football Association on successfully bidding for the hosting rights of the aforementioned matches, and wish all the success for delivering the said matches at a world-class level with the support from the respective state governments,” AIFF secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran said in a media release.

The hosts for India’s home leg against Kuwait on June 6 next year will be confirmed at a later date.

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