The draw for the 2016 AFC Under-16 Championships to be played in India from September 15 to October 2 was held in Goa today with the hosts India drawn in a tough Group A alongside West Asian heavyweights Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The seedings during the draw was based on the results of the 2014 edition of the AFC Under-16 Championships in Thailand with hosts India placed as the top-seeds in Group A.
The 16 countries were divided into four groups of four teams and each will play a one-round league. The top two teams in each group (eight teams in total) will qualify to the quarterfinals where the four winners will qualify to the semifinals. The winners of semifinals will advance to the final.
The top four ranked teams of this year’s AFC U-16 Championship will qualify for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup be played in India. In the event that India finish among the top four teams, three play-off matches will be organised among the four losing teams of the quarterfinals to determine the fifth placed team that will qualify to India 2017.
Group A: India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
Group B: Australia, Japan, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan
Group C: South Korea, Malaysia, Oman, Iraq
Group D: North Korea, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Yemen