Indians seeded ahead of N Korea

AFC Asian Cup finals draw today

The 12-member organising committee, headed by Zhang Jilong of China, did not follow the procedure of 2007 edition when the teams were seeded according to then latest FIFA rankings. Instead, they ranked the teams according to results in AFC Asian Cup 2007 (finals and qualifiers).

India, the lowest ranked side among the 16 participating countries at 132nd, have been placed in Pot Four along with Syria, Kuwait and North Korea.

Hosts Qatar have been seeded first and placed in Pot One along with defending champions Iraq, last edition losing finalists Saudi Arabia and third-place country South Korea. Pot Two has Asia’s FIFA highest-ranked side Australia, second ranked Japan, Iran and Uzbekistan.
China, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Jordan have been placed in Pot Three.

India, who qualified for the continent’s showpiece event after 26 years by winning the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup at home, would be hoping to avoid Bahrain from Pot Three as the Gulf country narrowly missed a 2010 World Cup qualification by losing to New Zealand in play off.

Bob Houghton’s men would prefer either Jordan or China, who have been a considerably weakened side in recent years, from Pot Three.
From Pot One, India would prefer either Iraq or Qatar as South Korea and Saudi Arabia are currently two of the strongest sides in Asia.

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