Margao, May 26 (IANS) Hosts India were drawn against middle eastern countries Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 Championship here on Thursday.
A total of 16 participating teams were divided into four groups for the tournament that will stretch from September 15 to October 2. The matches will be held at the Fatorda and Bambolim stadiums, an All India Football Federation (AIFF) release said.
The draw for the tournament was conducted by AFC’s director of competitions Shin Mangil. Also in attendance were Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and AIFF general secretary Kushal Das.
India’s U-17 team’s coach Nicolai Adam was pleased with the outcome of the draw.
“I like the draw, when you look at the groups it’s pretty even. We see this as a stepping stone to the World Cup; so the more difficult the opposition the better. We still have a long way to go though. All I want is good competition to prepare the World Cup, the motive is still to reach the semi-finals of the AFC championships,” Adam said.
Group A: India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran
Group B: Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, Japan, Australia
Group C: Iraq, Oman, Malaysia, South Korea Republic
Group D: Yemen, Thailand, Uzbekistan, North Korea