The grand show piece seems closer now as Asian continent are poised to draw a lot serving as qualifier for the FIFA World Cup and also the Asian Cup on Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
AFC Executive Director of Competition Division Shin Mangil told FIFA.com that ” “This draw means a lot to not only AFC but also FIFA.” He continued on the significance of the format, ” because the qualification this time serves as a double qualifier for both the World Cup and AFC Asian Cup. Under the new competition format, every side has an equal chance of meeting another team and playing a fair number of international matches within the frame of FIFA International match calendar.”
The second round draw will see all 40 teams split into eight groups of five, with the eight group winners
and four best second placed teams advancing to Asia’s final FIFA World Cup qualifying round as well
as the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. The competition lasts nine months commencing on 11 June and running
until 29 March 2016, with each team playing home and away in a round-robin format across ten matchdays. The third round of Asia’s Russia 2018 qualifiers is scheduled to commence in late 2016.