April 17 – The draw for the first phase of Asia’s qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup finals was made on Wednesday despite the fact that the continent doesn’t know for sure how many teams will be represented in Qatar.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino continues to promote his plan to expand the tournament from 32 to 48 teams and potentially share hosting duties but no decision has yet been made. Nor has how many extra slots each region will be allocated though Asia is expected to have an additional 4.5.
Oman and Kuwait have been approached as potential co-hosts but Oman has already rejected FIFA’s overtures.
Despite the uncertainty, Asian football officials conducted the draw for the first round of the continent’s qualifying tournament, which features the region’s 12 lowest ranked national teams.
The winners of the two legged ties, which will be played on June 6 with the return on June 11, will advance to the next phase of the competition. The second round of Asian qualifiers begin in September.
First Round Draw: Mongolia v Brunei Darussalam; Macau v Sri Lanka; Laos v Bangladesh; Malaysia v Timor-Leste; Cambodia v Pakistan; Bhutan v Guam.
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