World Cup Qualifiers 2022: How can red cards, yellow cards and drawing of lots seal India’s fate?



GOAL tells you how fair play can play an important factor in deciding the rankings of the group stage…

India are currently fourth in Group E of the World Cup 2022 qualifiers with three points from five matches. 

They will resume their campaign against Qatar on June 3, followed by Bangladesh on June 7 and finally Afghanistan in their last qualifying game on June 15.

While India does not stand a chance of qualifying for the next round of the World Cup, they can still finish third in the group stage and qualify directly for the third round of the Asian Cup. 

This is how things stand at the moment. 

Position Team Played Won Drawn Lost Goals Scored Goals Against GD Points
1 Qatar 6 5 1 0 16 1 +15 16
2 Oman 5 4 0 1 11 4 +7 12
3 Afghanistan 5 1 1 3 2 11 -9 4
4 India  5 0 3 2 3 5 -2 3
5 Bangladesh 5 0 1 4 2 13 -11 1

What happens when three teams finish with the same points?

However, there is a possibility of India, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan finishing on the same number of points. 

If India lose both against Qatar and Bangladesh and beat Afghanistan,then the Blue Tigers finish on six points. Whereas, if Afghanistan draw their first two games then both teams will finish on six points. Meanwhile, Bangladesh also can end up with the same number of points if they beat India and draw against Oman and Afghanistan. 

However, if India lose big against Qatar, by a narrow margin against Bangladesh and win against Afghanistan by a narrow margin then there is a possibility that we might see the three teams end up with the same goal difference and same goals scored. 

Then how will the ranking be decided?

  1. Greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned
  2. Goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned
  3. Greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned 

Currently, the table looks like this. 

Position Team Played Won Draw Lost Goals Scored Goals Against GD Points
1 Afghanistan 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 4
2 India 2 0 2 0 2 2 0 2
3 Bangladesh 2 0 1 1 1 2 -1 1

When will the ‘Fair Play Point System’ be invoked? 

However, after playing all the group matches and drawing up a separate table with the three locked teams the parameters remain the same, to break the deadlock, FIFA has devised an innovative method known as the ‘fair play point system’. 

It considers the number of yellow and red cards in all group matches and the following deductions are made:

– first yellow card: minus 1 point

– second yellow card/indirect red card: minus 3 points

– direct red card: minus 4 points

– yellow card and direct red card: minus 5 points

If the three teams can’t be separated even after this, there will be a drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee. 



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