India have been clubbed with hosts United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Bahrain in Group A of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, the official draw for which was held at the Armani Hotel Ballroom at the iconic Burj Khalifa in Dubai yesterday (May 4, 2018).
National Team Captain Sunil Chhetri, Iranian legend Ali Daei, iconic Chinese player Sun Jihai and Philippines’ star Philip James Younghusband coordinated the picks for the four respective pots as they helped AFC General Secretary Dato Windsor John to conduct the draw.
Besides, National Team Coach Stephen Constantine and Team Manager Shanmugam Venkatesh were present on the occasion.
The top 24 Teams from all over Asia including hosts United Arab Emirates were drawn into six groups of four teams each. Teams drawn together in the group will play each other once and the top two from each group will qualify to the Round of 16 along with the best four third-placed teams.
The Continental Championship will be held across eight stadia in four cities in the UAE -- Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Al Ain -- January 5 to February 1, 2019.
This is India’s fourth qualification to the AFC Asian Cup, the last one being in Doha in 2011. India had finished runners-up to Israel in 1964.