The journey to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 formally begins this September as the Philippines is one of the 40 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Member Associations that will compete in the Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2.
In the draw held at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia earlier today, 17 July 2019, the Philippines was drawn to Group A and will join the likes of China PR, Syria, Malvides, and Guam.
The draw which puts the 40 participating teams into eight groups, was based from the FIFA World Rankings for June 2019. The Philippines was in Pot 3.
The Philippines made tremendous strides in the previous edition of the Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 held in 2015-2016. The Azkals finished third in Group H, and proceeded to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 where they made their debut as one of the 24 participating teams.
12 teams, including the top teams from each group, and the four best second placed teams, will advance to the final round of the World Cup qualifiers, and subsequently qualify for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023. The remaining 32 teams will battle it out in the final round of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers.
“The road to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 finally begins. To be one of the 32 teams to qualify for the World Cup will bring a tremendous honor to the country,” said PFF president Mariano V. Araneta Jr., “Our AFC Asian Cup debut last January showed that we can be equal against the very best teams in the continent. We wish the Men’s National Team all the best in their preparations for the qualifiers which begins this September.”
The Philippines begin their World Cup qualifier campaign on September 2019.