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43 in the fray for 2014 FWC qualifiers

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kuala Lumpur: AFC has announced the qualification format for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers on Wednesday.




Forty-three teams have entered the fray to grab four automatic and an inter-continental playoff berths.

In the first round, the 16 lowest ranked teams will be divided into eight groups for home-and-away matches on June 29 and July 3, 2011.

Eight winners from the first round will join 22 higher ranked teams in the second round where the teams will be divided into 15 groups for home-and-away matches on July 23 and 28.

The 15 winners from the second round will join top five direct entrants in the third round where they will be divided into five groups of four teams each.

The top two teams from each group will make it to Round 4. The third round will be played from September 2, 2011, to February 29, 2012.

The 10 qualified teams in the fourth round will be divided into two groups of five teams each and top two teams from each group will gain automatic berths in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

If Japan make it to the fourth round, they will be placed on Position 5 in their group in order not to play on June 18, 2013, to felicitate their participation in the FIFA Confederations Cup to be held from June 16 to 30, 2013.

Two third-placed teams will play in Round 5 to determine Asia’s representative in the inter-continental playoff.

The fourth round will be played from June 3, 2012, to June 18, 2013, while the playoff between the third-placed teams will be played on September 6 and 10, 2013.

The inter-continental playoff will be played on October 15 and November 19, 2013.

The seeding for the draw, to be held on March 30, will be based on the rankings from 2010 FIFA World Cup and its Asian qualifiers.

Teams ranked from 1-5 will participate in the qualifiers from Round 3, teams ranked 6-27 (22 teams) will participate from Round 2 and the teams ranked 28-43 (16) will play the first round.

THE SEEDINGS

1. Japan, 2. Korea Republic, 3. Australia, 4. DPR Korea, 5. Bahrain, 6. Saudi Arabia, 7. Iran, 8. Qatar, 9. Uzbekistan, 10. UAE, 11. Syria, 12. Oman, 13. Jordan, 14. Iraq, 15. Singapore, 16. China, 17. Kuwait, 18. Thailand, 19. Turkmenistan, 20. Lebanon, 21. Yemen, 22. Tajikistan, 23. Hong Kong, 24. Indonesia, 25. Kyrgyzstan, 26. Maldives, 27. India, 28. Malaysia, 29. Afghanitsan, Cambodia, 31. Nepal, 32. Bangladesh, 33. Sri Lanka, Vietnam, 35. Mongolia, 36. Pakistan, 37. Palestine, 38. Timor Leste, 39. Macau, 40. Chinese Taipei, Myanmar, 42. Laos, Philippines.

THE SCHEDULE

Round 1: June 29 and July 3, 2011
Round 2: July 23 and July 28, 2011
Round 3: September 2, September 6, October 11, November 11, November 15, 2011 and February 29, 2012
Round 4: June 3, June 8, June 12, September 11, October 16, November 14, 2012, March 26, June 4, June 11, June 18, 2013
Round 5: September 6 and September 10, 2013
Round 6 (inter-continental playoff): October 15 and November 19, 2013

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