Future hosts Qatar get tough SWC draw

2015-04-14 14:49
Qatar SWC logo (File)

Kuala Lumpur - Qatar received a difficult draw for the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday as they embark on their final attempt to qualify for the tournament before hosting it in 2022.

The Gulf state were bracketed with rapidly emerging China, who impressed at this year's Asian Cup, and will also face tricky trips to Hong Kong and Bhutan.

Qatar have never reached the World Cup and an appearance at Russia 2018 would help assuage critics who question their credentials as hosts of football's biggest competition.

The reigning Gulf champions disappointingly failed to reach the Asian Cup knock-out stages in January and they will be keen to show their worth in international competition.

Alain Perrin's China are seeded top in Group C and Bhutan created headlines when, as the world's lowest ranked team, they shocked Sri Lanka to reach the second qualifying round.

"Especially against Qatar it will be difficult... (but) it is important to compete everywhere in the world if we want to go to the World Cup," Perrin said.

"For me, I know Qatar, I know this team. I know what they can do in the World Cup games and it will be difficult, but it is okay. We will have to prepare for our games well."

Asian Cup-winners Australia face a challenge from Jordan in Group B, while Japan received a kind draw with Syria, Afghanistan, Singapore and Cambodia in Group E.

North Korea, who reached the 2010 World Cup, could spring a surprise in Group H, where Uzbekistan, Bahrain and the Philippines are seeded above them.

"It's about time an Asian country breaks the European, South American handle on the World Cups," said Australia coach Ange Postecoglou.

"We can help raise the standards and push an Asian country to win the World Cup one day. It starts today."

The top eight teams and four best group runners-up will progress to Asia's final World Cup qualifying round, as well as the 2019 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

The remaining 28 teams will compete for the other 12 places at the Asian Cup, which has been expanded to 24 sides for 2019.

The home-and-away round robin starts on June 11 and finishes on March 29 next year.

Group A: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, East Timor, Malaysia

Group B: Australia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh

Group C: China, Qatar, Maldives, Bhutan, Hong Kong

Group D: Iran, Oman, India, Turkmenistan, Guam

Group E: Japan, Syria, Afghanistan, Singapore, Cambodia

Group F: Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan

Group G: South Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, Laos

Group H: Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Philippines, North Korea, Yemen

Read more on:    qatar  |  swc 2022  |  swc 2018  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.