Category: FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers

Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan in Iran’s World Cup 2026 qualifiers group

The draw for FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying rounds has been carried out. Iran, the second-highest seed in Asia, will be playing in the second round of the competition. The draw of the second round pitted Team Melli with Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and the winner of Hong Kong/Bhutan match which will be played in the first round of the qualifiers.

in the ceremony held today (Thursday) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the AFC announced that these matches are also the qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup 2027 which is to be held in Saudi Arabia.

Team Melli will start its campaign this winter with a match against Round One qualifiers, which is most probably be Hong Kong. It is not clear if the match will be played in Azadi Stadium which is going through some heavy renovation and maintenance. Hong Kong is also in Iran’s group in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 in Qatar.

FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers Matches :

Nov 16th, 2023 vs. Hong Kong Home: World Cup Qualifier

Nov 21st, 2023 vs. Uzbekistan Away: World Cup Qualifiers

Mar 21st, 2024 vs. Turkmenistan Home: World Cup Qualifier

Mar 26th, 2024 vs. Turkmenistan Away: World Cup Qualifier

Jun 6th, 2024 vs. Hong Kong Away: World Cup Qualifier

Jun 11th, 2024 vs. Uzbekistan Away: World Cup Qualifier

AFC qualifiers for FIFA World Cup 2026

The seeding for FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers in Asia have been determined.

After winning the title of CAFA Nations Cup 2023, Team Melli would be busy preparing for the AFC Asian Cup and the next round of World Cup qualifiers. Iran will not be involved in Round 1 of the qualifiers but will start its games in Round 2.

The qualifiers starting in 2023 will be a marathon of matches in a similar pattern to the previous edition of the World Cup in Qatar.

The FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers will start in the Asian continent on Thursday, October 12. In the first round, 22 AFC teams from the lowest FIFA ranking will take part, with 11 of them will advance to the group round.

The second round of the qualifiers will see Iran’s presence. Team Melli is currently ranked second in Asia after Japan. The AFC second round of 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification, which also serves as the second round of 2027 AFC Asian Cup qualification, is expected to be played from 16 November 2023 to 11 June 2024

A total of thirty-six teams will be drawn into nine groups of four to play home-and-away round-robin matches. They include the twenty-five teams (teams ranked 1–25 in the AFC entrant list) which received byes to this round and the eleven winners from the first round.

Eighteen group winners and runners-up advance to the third round and qualify for the 2027 AFC Asian Cup. The third and fourth-place teams will advance to the third round of the 2027 Asian Cup qualification.


The 11 teams that advanced from Round 1, along with the top 25 teams in Asia, form a total of 36 teams that must be placed in 9 four-team groups. The classification of this round of competitions is as follows:

Seed 1: Japan – Iran – Australia – South Korea – Saudi Arabia – Qatar – Emirates – Iraq – Oman

Seed 2: Uzbekistan – China – Jordan – Bahrain – Syria – Vietnam – Palestine – Kyrgyzstan – India

Seed 3: Lebanon – Tajikistan – Thailand – North Korea – Philippines – Malaysia – Turkmenistan – Kuwait – Hong Kong

The top two teams from each group will advance to the third round of the World Cup qualifiers in the Asian continent and the third and fourth teams of the group are also eliminated.


The schedule is expected to be as follows, according to the FIFA International Match Calendar.

Matchday 116 November 2023
Matchday 221 November 2023
Matchday 321 March 2024
Matchday 426 March 2024
Matchday 56 June 2024
Matchday 611 June 2024