Indian men’s national football team will make history in Qatar as they will appear in the AFC Asian Cup finals in back-to-back editions for the first time in their history. 

Igor Stimac’s men made the cut for the showpiece event in January 2024 when they produced a perfect record in the final round of AFC Asian Cup qualifiers with wins over Cambodia, Afghanistan and Hong Kong in Kolkata last year. 

The Blue Tigers who narrowly missed out on reaching the Round of 16 in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup will look to go at least one step better in Qatar and become the first Indian team to reach the competition's knockout stage. 

India will learn about its group-stage opponents on Thursday as the official draw takes place in Doha, Qatar. For the draw, the teams have been split into four pots based on the latest FIFA rankings and every group will have one team from each pot. The Blue Tigers have been placed in Pot 4 and will have their work cut out in the group stage. 

Here is a look at the four pots 

Pot 1: Qatar, Japan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Korea Republic, Australia, Saudi Arabia

Pot 2: Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Uzbekistan, China PR, Jordan

Pot 3: Bahrain, Syria, Palestine, Vietnam, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon

Pot 4: India, Tajikistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Indonesia

A total of 24 teams will be in the draw after the tournament was expended since the 2019 edition. The teams will be drawn into six groups of four teams with a total of sixteen teams advancing to the knockout stage. 

Group winners and runners-up from all groups will advance to the Round of 16 along with the four best third-placed teams. 

This will be India’s fifth appearance in the AFC Asian Cup after previously participating in 1964, 1984, 2011 and 2019 editions. 

Where is the AFC Asian Cup draw? 

The AFC Asian Cup draw will be held at Kataka Opera House in Doha, Qatar.

When is the AFC Asian Cup draw? 

The draw will be held on Thursday, May 11 at 4:30 PM IST.

How can you watch the AFC Asian Cup 2023 draw? 

The draw will be streamed Live on AFC Asian Cup’s Facebook and YouTube pages.