The Indian women's football team has been placed in Pot 4 along with Iran and North Korea for the final draw of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament Round 2 which will be played from October 23 to November 1 this year.
A total of 12 teams will be part of the draw and will be divided into three groups in the draw that will be conducted at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday (May 18).
The field comprises seven group winners from Round 1 of qualifying and the five highest-seeded teams, who received automatic byes into Round 2.
Uzbekistan (Group A), Islamic Republic of Iran (Group B), Vietnam (Group C), Thailand (Group D), Philippines (Group E), Chinese Taipei (Group F) and India (Group G) came through in Round 1, which took place between April 1 and 11, 2023, to join big guns Australia, China, DPR Korea, Japan and South Korea in their quest to make it to Paris, the AFC said in a release on Tuesday.
Each group will play a single round-robin league format in one of three centralised venues - Australia, China or Uzbekistan. These three Host Member Associations (MAs) will be drawn into separate groups.
Four teams -- the three group winners and the best-ranked runners-up - will then progress to Round 3 to play two pairs of home and away matches, slated for February 24 and 28, 2024, with the eventual winners taking the two spots reserved for Asia in the Women's Olympic Football Tournament Paris 2024. The 2020 Olympic edition in Tokyo saw hosts Japan exit the quarter-final stage against Sweden, while Australia finished fourth after losing a close bronze medal encounter to the USA.
How they are grouped for the draw:
Pot 1: Australia, Japan, China
Pot 2: Korea Republic, Vietnam, Chinese Taipei
Pot 3: Thailand, Philippines, Uzbekistan
Pot 4: India, IR Iran, DPR Korea