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How can the Indian football team Qualify for FIFA World Cup‘26?

India currently unbeaten has a straightforward path, but seeks local support as the path is quite challenging.

India’s men’s football team commenced their Round 2 in the FIFA World Cup 2026 AFC qualifiers positively by defeating Kuwait on Thursday. The lone goal was scored by Manvir Singh in the 75th minute at Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium.

Group A of Round 2 includes India, Kuwait, Qatar, and Afghanistan. India’s upcoming match against Qatar is scheduled for November 21 in Bhubaneswar. To secure advancement to the third round, India must secure a top-two finish in Group A by the end of Round 2.


In Round 2, each team in Group A and eight other AFC groups will participate in a double round-robin format, playing against each other both at home and away from November 2023 to June 2024. India will face Kuwait, Qatar, and Afghanistan in home and away fixtures.

India faces a challenging yet manageable route to progress, targeting a top-two finish in Group A to move forward in the World Cup qualifiers. A total of 18 teams, comprising nine group winners and their respective runners-up, will advance to Round 3, guaranteeing a place in the 2027 AFC Asian Cup.

In 2024, a draw will determine three groups consisting of six teams each for the third round. The top two teams from each group will secure places in the main event.

During the previous 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, India finished third in their group, missing direct advancement. Qatar and Oman secured the top two spots, progressing to the next stage.


India holds the 102nd position in the FIFA rankings, facing a challenging match against 61st-ranked Qatar. This upcoming match is set to occur at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium.

The performance of veteran player Sunil Chhetri will be crucial for India in the forthcoming Round

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