The Maroons are scheduled to take on Afghanistan in their first qualifying 2026 World Cup qualifiers match this month.
Qatar head coach Carlos Queiroz has named his 26-man squad ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, set to kick off against Afghanistan and India this month.
The Portuguese coach has handpicked a mix of young stars and veteran players that include the likes of Pedro Miguel, Akram Afif, Hassan Al Haydos, and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2023 Player of the Year nominee Almoez Ali.
The 2019 Asian champions will start their qualifying campaign from the second round, facing off against Afghanistan, which progressed through the preliminary joint qualification.
However, with reports of at least 18 players from the Afghan team announcing a boycott of the match due to corruption charges against the Afghanistan football federation, it is unclear whether the match will go ahead at Khalifa International Stadium on November 16.
Al Annabi will then travel to the city of Bhubaneshwar to battle it out against India on November 21.
Afghanistan and India are considerably more manageable teams for Qatar to take on, as they have never made it to the World Cup.
With a FIFA ranking of 154, Afghanistan has a scarce chance of making it to the 2026 qualification, while India sits at 102. Comparatively, Qatar is secure in its 61st position on the global ranking.
As the 2026 edition of the World Cup expands to a 48-team affair, the AFC will have eight direct qualification spots, four more than in the 2022 World Cup, and a playoff slot.
This is the third time that the first two rounds of qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup will also serve as the qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup.
The qualification for the AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027 qualifiers will resume after the Qatar 2023 AFC tournament and will be held from January 12 to February 10, 2024.
A total of 36 teams split into nine groups will face one another in the second round.
All nine group winners and the respective runners-up will advance to the third round of World Cup qualifying as well, sealing their places at the 2027 Asian Cup.
The draw for the third round of the upcoming World Cup will be conducted in 2024, when 18 teams will be divided into three groups of six; the top two from each group will qualify directly for the FIFA World Cup 2026.
2023 Qatar roster
Goalkeepers: Fahad Younes (Al Rayyan), Meshaal Barsham (Al Sadd), Salah Zakaria (Al Duhail), Yousef Hassan (Al Gharafa)
Defenders: Bassam Al Rawi (Al Rayyan), Boualem Khoukhi, Tariq Salman, Pedro Miguel (Al Sadd), Homam Al Amin (Al Gharafa), Yousef Ayman (Al Duhail), Hazem Ahmed, Lucas Mendez (Al Wakrah)
Midfielders: Abdullah Al Marafi, Ahmed Fathi, Jassem Jaber (Al Arabi), Karim Boudiaf (Al Duhail), Hassan Al Haydos, Mustafa Meshaal, Muhammad Waad (Al Sadd)
Forwards: Akram Afif, Yousef Abdulrazaq (Al Sadd), Ahmed Alaaeldin (Al Gharafa), Almoez Ali, Mohammed Muntari (Al Duhail), Ahmed Al Rawi, Tamim Mansour (Al Rayyan)