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REVEALED - India's AFC U23 Championships Qualifier opponents

11:14 GMT+4 17/03/2017
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The Indian national U23 side were drawn with West Asian heavyweights Qatar in a bid to qualify for the continent's premier international U23 tourney..

The Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) U23 Championship qualifiers draw saw India grouped alongside Qatar, Syria and Turkmenistan in Group C. 

The draw was held on Friday 17th March at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. China will host the 2018 edition of the tournament, which was won by Japan in 2016. 

There were 40 teams in the draw  of which ten groups were formed of four teams each. The 40 member associations affliated to the AFC were first demarcated into two zones  - WEST (West, South & Central) and EAST (East & ASEAN) – with 20 teams each.

India was grouped into the west zone, with a rank of 13 out of 20 teams. The rank within the zones was adjudicated with respect to the teams performances in the 2016 edition of the tournament , hosted by Qatar.

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From the alloted groups, 10 group winners alongside five best second-placed teams from each group will progress into the finals. It is interesting to note here that despite China hosting the tournament, they have decided to participate in the qualifiers. This means that if China finish top or second in their group then another team, the 6th best second placed team, will qualify for the tournament. 

The matches will be held between 19th and 23rd July, 2017.