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India in 2026 World Cup: How can India qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

Canada: The expansion of the FIFA World Cup four years ahead is a chance for the Indian contingent for a World Cup opportunity. India in 2026 World Cup remains a far-notched concept with low probability. But, Hope stands tall in every Indian’s mind. Scroll to read about how India can qualify

The 2026 World Cup will take place in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. The World Cup begins history in venue ownership, it is the first time three different nations host a World Cup.

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Division of Teams

The 2026 World Cup as we know features 48 teams. The teams are divided into 16 groups of three. The winners and runners-up of the group head to the same kind of knock-out.

AFC8 or 9
CAF9 or 10
CONCACAF0 or 1 or 2 + 3(hosts)
OFC1 or 2

Asian Football Confederation (AFC): The Asian Football Confederation has 8 or 9 slots. Eight teams directly qualifies from the AFC Qualification for FIFA World Cup 2026. The number of teams starting in the qualification is 46+1.

The Structure of the qualification is mentioned below. The format also acts as the qualification stage of the 2027 AFC Asian Cup.

First Round22 Teams (Ranked 26-47) play in a two-legged competition. 11 Winners advance to the next round
Second Round36 Teams (Teams Ranked 1-25 + 11 from the second round). Divided into nine groups of four. Winners and Runners of each group qualify for the next round
Third Round18 Teams. Teams are divided into 3 groups of 6. The top two of each group qualify for the 2026 World Cup.
Fourth Round6 Teams (3rd and 4th placed from Third Round). 2 groups of 3. Winners qualify for the World Cup
Fifth Round2 Team. A two-legged tie to determine the AFC Representative for the inter-confederation playoff

India in 2026 World Cup: Where do India stand in FIFA Rankings?

The Blue Tigers are currently placed at 106 in the World Rankings. In AFC, India is 18th behind Vietnam and Lebanon. The position in the ranking boards has helped India to receive a first-round bye. However, the rankings fluctuate. The rankings taken into consideration are the ones at the time of the draw.

The Indians are in Pot 3 currently alongside others. Better Predictions can only be made when the draw is announced. To be noted, India is 18th in Asia, safely tucked away from the top 8 or 9 for that matter. India’s rating difference with the eighth-placed UAE is immense.

The Blue Tigers aren’t a very good sport to watch against the top-placed nations. The Tigers might be placed with giants like Qatar or Japan, squandering chances of a possible World Cup.

The 50% increase will be a savior, but is India doing enough to reach the magical World Cup?

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Mohammed Bazim
Mohammed Bazimhttp://thesportslite.com
Mohammed Bazim S is a final-year Journalism student with a deep passion for sports reporting. At the age of 19, he is already making strides towards his dream of becoming a paddock reporter and rinkside correspondent. With a particular love for ice hockey and Formula 1, Mohammed aspires to capture the excitement of these sports through immersive reporting. His enthusiasm, coupled with his dedication to honing his skills, sets him on a path towards bringing the thrilling world of sports to life for fans worldwide.

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