The Asian Football Confederation today held the draws for the Under-19 and Under-16 categories of their AFC Junior & Sub-Junior Championships 2012 at their headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. India have been given tough qualifiers in both age groups.
In the Under-19 category India have been drawn in Group C alongside Asian heavyweights Uzbekistan and Iran plus Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. In total 39 teams have been divided into two zones and separated in seven groups of six or five teams each. Each group will play one round league at a centralised venue and top two teams from each group will make it to the tournament proper, while the third best teams from each West and East zones will complete the 16-team line up of the 2012 finals.
The Group C in the Under-16 category into which India has been drawn into is also a difficult one with our boys having to face Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Bahrain and Kyrgyzstan. 40 teams were divided into two zones and separated in seven groups of six or five teams each. Each group will play one round league at a centralised venue and top two teams from each group will make it to the tournament proper, while the third best teams from each West and East zones will complete the 16-team line up of the 2012 finals.
Not easy for our Under-19 and Under-16 teams, but if you want to play in the Asian finals amongst the best you have to prove yourself against tough opposition. And with the youth development system being put in place by Bob Houghton and technical director Colin Toal the results will hopefully prove that we are developing our young talent.
AFC Under-19 Championship Qualifiers Groupings
Group A: Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives
Group B: Bahrain, Jordan, Tajikistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Bhutan
Group C: Uzbekistan, Iran, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan
Group D: UAE, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Lebanon
Group E: South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Guam, Chinese Taipei
Group F: North Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos
Group G: Australia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Macau
AFC Under-16 Championship Qualifiers Groupings
Group A: Iraq, Iran, Bangladesh, Qatar, Palestine, Sri Lanka
Group B: UAE, Kuwait, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Maldives
Group C: Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Bahrain, Kyrgyzstan, India
Group D: Syria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Lebanon
Group E: North Korea, China, Timor Leste, Singapore, Malaysia, Macau
Group F: Japan, Vietnam, Chinese Taipei, Laos, South Korea, Cambodia
Group G: Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Guam