The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) postponed all men’s qualifiers scheduled in October and November for the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup.
India’s last international match was the joint qualifying round fixture against Oman in Muscat in November last year, which it had lost 0-1. Though out of contention for a place in the next round of World Cup qualifiers, India is in the reckoning for a spot in the 2023 Asian Cup.
It was initially scheduled to play Qatar at home on October 8 followed by matches against Afghanistan (home) and Bangladesh (away) in November.
A third-place finish in the group will help India get a direct berth in the third round of the qualifiers for the 2023 Asian Cup.
India is currently fourth in Group E with three points from five games. Qatar tops the table with 13 points with Oman a point behind it in second. Eight group winners and four best runners-up will progress to the continent’s 12-team final qualifying stage for the World Cup.
There are 40 national teams involved in the second round of World Cup Asian qualifying, which had already been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.