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Kuala Lumpur: Some 45 Member Associations from across Asia learned their opponents for the upcoming AFC U-16 Championship 2018 qualifiers on Friday following the official draw at AFC House.

Defending champions Iraq, have been grouped with India, Palestine and Nepal who will host the qualifiers in Group D, while the Islamic Republic of Iran - last year’s runners-up - are scheduled to meet Kyrgyz Republic, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Bhutan in Group C.

Elsewhere, two-time champions and 2016 semi-finalists DPR Korea, will face Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Macau and Brunei Darussalam in Group F, with Japan, who also reached last year’s semi-finals drawn in Group J, along with Singapore, Malaysia and Guam.

The ten (10) group winners and five (5) best second-placed teams will advance to the final stage of the tournament, along with the host Member Association. The AFC U-16 Championship 2018 qualifiers are set to take place from September 16 to 24, 2017.

WEST Zone
Group A:

1. Uzbekistan
2. Saudi Arabia (Host for qualifiers)
3. Jordan
4. Bahrain
5. Sri Lanka

Group B:
1. Oman
2. Tajikistan (Host for qualifiers)
3. Syria
4. Turkmenistan
5. Maldives

Group C:
1. Islamic Republic of Iran (Host for qualifiers)
2. Kyrgyz Republic
3. Afghanistan
4. Lebanon
5. Bhutan

Group D:
1. Iraq
2. India
3. Palestine
4. Nepal (Host for qualifiers)

Group E:
1. United Arab Emirates
2. Yemen
3. Qatar (Host for qualifiers)
4. Bangladesh

EAST Zone
Group F:

1. DPR Korea
2. Hong Kong
3. Chinese Taipei
4. Macau
5. Brunei Darussalam

Group G:
1. Thailand (Host for qualifiers)
2. Laos
3. Timor-Leste
4. Northern Mariana Islands  
5. Indonesia

Group H:
1. Korea Republic
2. China PR
3. Myanmar
4. Philippines

Group I:
1. Vietnam
2. Australia
3. Mongolia  (Host for qualifiers)
4. Cambodia

Group J:
1. Japan
2. Malaysia
3. Singapore
4. Guam

Photo: AFC