Guwahati and Kolkata are likely to host India’s first two home matches of the second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification.
India directly qualified for the second round of this qualification process due to standing in the top 34-ranked AFC teams. In this qualification round, India will face Oman, Qatar, Afghanistan and Bangladesh in Group E. India will begin their journey in this qualification round on 5th September 2019.
Guwahati has shown interest to host India vs Oman
On their first match of this qualification round, India will face Oman at home. Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium (Guwahati) is likely to organise this match on 5th September.
Assam Football Association (AFA) has shown their interest to organise India’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification opener.
AFA secretary Hemendra Nath Brahma told PTI, “We have got in touch with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) requesting them to give us one of the World Cup qualifying matches and they considered it. There is a chance we might get the 5 September game.”
Though nothing has been finalised yet, some media reports have claimed that the AIFF has given positive feedback on AFA’s proposal.
Kolkata is likely to host India vs Bangladesh match
On the other hand, Kolkata’s Saltlake Stadium is preparing to host India’s second home game in this qualification process. India will play their second home match against Bangladesh on 15th October 2019.
Last time, India played at Saltlake Stadium on 16th November 2011 against Malaysia. India won that match by the 3-2 margin.
The champions of the group stages will directly qualify for the third round of this qualification process. Also, the four best runners-up among the eight groups will directly join the third round of this qualification process.
However, only Qatar has earned direct qualification in the 2022 FIFA World Cup due to hosting this tournament. So, they will not participate in the third round qualification even if they finish as the Group E champions or the top four runners-up.
India’s matches in the second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
5th September 2019: India vs Oman
10th September 2019: Qatar vs India
15th October 2019: India vs Bangladesh
14th November 2019: Afghanistan vs India
19th November 2019: Oman vs India
26th March 2020: India vs Qatar
4th June 2020: Bangladesh vs India
9th June 2020: India vs Afghanistan