The first round draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar will also double as a qualification leg for the 2023 Asian Cup, and will involve 12 Asian teams.
The teams that went into the hat are Malaysia, Cambodia, Macau, Laos, Bhutan, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Guam, Brunei Darussalam, Timor-Leste, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – AFC-affiliated teams ranked from number 35 to 46 in the FIFA world rankings.
These teams were matched up against each other into 6 pairs during today’s draw, and they will play a home and away leg to determine 6 winners. The first leg will be played on June 6, 2019 and the second leg on June 11th.
Those 6 winners will progress to the second qualification round to join the number 1 to number 34 ranked Asian teams to make it into a pool of 40 teams, that will go on to be divided into 8 groups of 5 each.
Out of these groups, the 8 group winners and the 4 best runners-up will all qualify for the third round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar and for the finals of the 2023 Asian Cup as well.
Here are the matchups that were determined during the draw, including an all-Southeast Asian affair between Malaysia and Timor Leste:
Mongolia vs Brunei
Macau vs Sri Lanka
Laos vs Bangladesh
Malaysia vs Timor Leste
Cambodia vs Pakistan
Bhutan vs Guam