The AFC Asian Qualifiers is the Asian section of the FIFA World Cup Qualification for teams who are members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). This year teams are competing in the third round of the AFC Asian Qualifiers: Road to Qatar in hopes to land a spot at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The AFC is allotted four fixed spots in the FIFA World Cup tournament with a possible fifth spot available for the teams who attend the inter-confederation play-offs.
AFC Asian Qualifiers Structure
The AFC Asian Qualifiers involve four rounds and is structured as follows:
Round 1: The twelve teams ranked 35-46 (in the FIFA world rankings) compete with the six winners advancing to the next round.
Round 2: Forty teams, including the six winners from round one and the teams ranked 1-34, are split into eight groups of five teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The winners of each group and the four best runners-up advance to the third round. They also qualify for the AFC Asian Cup.
Round 3: The twelve remaining teams are split into two groups of six to play home-and-away round robin matches. The winners and the runners-up of each group qualify for the World Cup, while the two third-placed teams will advance to round four.
Round 4: The two third-placed teams will compete over two legs and the winners will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs for one last shot at qualifying for the World Cup.