2022 World Cup play-off draw | European Qualifications

The draw to determine the final European fixtures for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar preliminary competition will take place in Zurich, Switzerland on Friday, November 26, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. CET.

Who is involved in the draw?

Pot 1: Italy, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Wales
Pot 2: Austria, Czech Republic, North Macedonia, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine

The three European places for the 2022 FIFA World Cup that will not be allocated after the group stage of the preliminary competition will be decided in a 12-team play-off tournament.

The ten runners-up in the European qualifying group stage are joined by two additional teams selected on the basis of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League overall standings: Austria and the Czech Republic.

Specifically, these places went to the two top-ranked UEFA Nations League group winners who neither qualified directly for the finals as winners of the European qualifying groups, nor did they previously participate in the play-offs. as second in European qualifying groups.

Highlights: Scotland 2-0 Denmark

How the draw works

The six best-ranked finalists from the European qualifying group stage are assigned to Pot 1 and will play their home play-off semi-final. The remaining six teams will be assigned to Pot 2.

To determine the six best runners-up allocated to Pot 1, first the results of the runners-up against the sixth-place teams (for groups of six teams) were discarded, then the following criteria were applied in the indicated order:
a. highest number of points
b. higher goal difference
vs. highest number of goals scored
D. highest number of away goals scored
e. highest number of wins
F. higher number of away wins
g. Lower disciplinary point total based only on yellow and red cards received by players and team officials (red card = three points, yellow card = one point, expulsion for two yellow cards in a match = three points)
h. access list for the UEFA Nations League 2020/21 (see appendix C of regulation 20/21)

The draw will start with the allocation of the six best-ranked teams, i.e. the teams from Pot 1, to semi-finals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively as a team home.

The first team drawn will occupy the home position in semi-final 1, the second team drawn in semi-final 2 and so on until the pot is emptied.

The draw will then proceed to the allocation of the teams from Pot 2 to the semi-finals one by one. The first team drawn from Pot 2 will occupy the position outside Semi-final 1, the second team drawn from Semi-final 2 and so on until all pairs of semi-finals are determined.

Semifinals 1 and 2 belong to play-off lane A, semi-finals 3 and 4 form lane B, and semi-finals 5 and 6 form lane C. To determine which winner of the semi-final will play at home in the final, an additional draw will be made for each route.



Do any constraints apply?

The “no team clash” rule means that some nations, for example Ukraine and Russia, cannot be brought together.

When do the play-offs take place?

Semi-finals of the play-offs: Thursday March 24, 2022
play-off finals: Tuesday March 29, 2022
UEFA will confirm kick-off times after the draw.

When will the 2022 World Cup be?

The 22nd final in Qatar will be the first World Cup not to take place in May, June or July; the tournament is rather scheduled for a reduced duration between November 21 and December 18. The final draw is expected to take place in April 2022.


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