Bangladesh gets Maldives in WC pre qualifiers

Bangladesh will play against familiar Maldives in the first round of joint qualifiers of 2026 FIFA World Cup as the draw for the first round was held at AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, today (Thursday).

Bangladesh and Maldives will play two matches on home and away basis in World Cup qualifiers. Two matches will be held on October 12 and 17. From here, the winning team will go directly to the AFC World Cup Qualifiers.

The Bangladesh football team strengthened their possibility of playing in the semi-finals by beating Maldives by 3-1 goals in the SAFF football championship held in India. The Jamal Bhuyan and Co. eventually reached semifinal after beating Bhutan.

A total of 20 teams are participating in the preliminary and first round of World Cup qualifiers. Twenty teams, divided into two groups, have been kept in two pots. From there ten pairs of teams are made for home and away by draw. The ten teams that will advance to the next round after the two matches on October 12 and 17 will be joined by the other twenty six teams in the direct qualifiers. The draw of these thirty six teams is scheduled to be held this afternoon. -BSS

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