TASHKENT: Qatar have been drawn against reigning champions Japan,Australia and Malaysia in the group stage of the AFC Futsal Championship in Uzbekistan 2016.
The Japanese, who downed Iran on penalties in the 2014 final hosted by Vietnam, find themselves in Group D for the 2016 edition, while hosts and 2014 third-placed finishers Uzbekistan were drawn in Group A alongside Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan and Saudi Arabia.
Group B comprises of Iran, Iraq, China and Jordan, while Thailand,Vietnam, Chinese Taipei and Tajikistan are in Group C.
The winners of the semi-finals will advance to the final and the two losing teams will play in the 3rd/4th placing match.
The four losers of the quarter-finals will then feature in play-off matches to determine the 5th placed team.
The top five teams will qualify for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016.
Group A: Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia
Group B: Iran, Iraq, China, Jordan
Group C: Thailand, Vietnam, Chinese Taipei, Tajikistan
Group D: Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Qatar
10 Feb 2016: Opening match – Iraq v China
17 Feb 2016: Quarter-finals
18 Feb 2016: Play-offs for four losing quarter-finalists
19 Feb 2016: 5th place play-off, semi-finals
21 Feb 2016: 3rd/4th place match, final