New Delhi: The Indian senior men’s football team has been drawn against Iraq in the semifinal of the King’s Cup 2023 after the draw ceremony was conducted by the Football Association of Thailand.
The match will take place at the 700th Anniversary Stadium in Chiang Mai, Thailand on September 7. Thailand will take on Lebanon in the other semifinal later on the same day.
The winners of the 49th King’s Cup semifinals will contest the final on September 10. The losers will meet in the third-place play-off.
As per the draw mechanics, Iraq (as the highest FIFA-ranked team – 70th) and Thailand (as hosts and ranked 113th) were placed in separate match-ups, and drawn against the remaining two teams — India, ranked 99th, and Lebanon, ranked 100th.
India’s last meeting with Iraq was a 0-2 defeat in a friendly in Baghdad in 2010.
It will be India’s fourth participation in the King’s Cup in Thailand, with the most recent one coming in 2019, where the Blue Tigers went down to Curacao in the semi-final before beating hosts Thailand 1-0 for the bronze medal.
India also won bronze in their first appearance in the tournament in 1977, defeating the likes of South Korea, Singapore and Indonesia. In 1981, India were eliminated in the group stage.