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Sport: World Cup qualifier playoffs draw: Final Qatar 2022 spots around world & Europe

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The final five spots in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will be decided by five different playoffs held around the world in 2022. And we found out a lot more about them after the Friday, Nov. 26 draw.

FIFA will conduct the draw in Zurich at 11 a.m. ET (5 p.m. CET - Central European Time) and it will determine the matchups that will assign the final three berths in Europe, as well as the two intercontinental playoff berths (details below). The draw will be streamed live on FIFA.com, on YouTube, and on Twitter.

A total of 32 nations will participate in the 2022 FIFA World Cup that will be held in Qatar beginning in November 2022. Qatar automatically qualifies as host and the other 31 finalists will emerge from regional qualifying held around the globe.

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MORE: Which teams have qualified to the 2022 World Cup?

There are 13 countries that have already booked their ticket to Qatar, and others will lock up spots during qualifying in January and February. Not including host Qatar, here's how the 31 direct berths are split up around the world:

  • Africa (CAF): 5
  • Asia (AFC): 4 (plus 1 playoff qualifier)
  • Europe (UEFA): 13 (including 3 playoff winners)
  • North/Central America & Caribbean (CONCACAF): 3 (plus 1 playoff qualifier)
  • Oceania (OFC): 1 playoff qualifier
  • South America (CONMEBOL): 4 (plus 1 playoff qualifier)

The four playoff qualifiers noted above from the Asia, South America, North America and Oceania continents will be drawn in two separate "intercontinental" playoff knockout matches that will be played in a neutral venue with a ticket to Qatar on the line.

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Europe has its own playoffs involving 12 countries. They will be drawn into three "final four" brackets. The survivor of each bracket will head to Qatar (the winner has to survive two knockout matches).

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World Cup European Playoffs (3 berths)

The draw split the 12 European playoff teams into three different brackets. Six of the 12 playoff teams (10 group runners-up and two Nations League group winners) were seeded: The six best teams based on points total (minus points earned against last-placed teams for those nations that played in six-team groups), were allocated to Pot 1, and the remaining six went into Pot 2.

Pot 1 (seeded teams): Italy, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Wales

Pot 2 (unseeded teams): Austria, Czech Republic, North Macedonia, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine

The teams in Pot 1 are hosting the knockout semifinal in their respective bracket (or path, as FIFA calls it). The host of the final was determined by a draw.

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Home teams listed first

Bracket (Path) A (1 World Cup berth)

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Thurs/Fri, March 24/25 Semi #1: Scotland vs. Ukraine TBD TBD
Thurs/Fri, March 24/25 Semi #2: Wales vs. Austria TBD TBD
Mon/Tues, March 28/29 Final: (Wales vs. Austria winner will host) TBD TBD

Bracket (Path) B (1 World Cup berth)

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Thurs/Fri, March 24/25 Semi #1: Russia vs. Poland TBD TBD
Thurs/Fri, March 24/25 Semi #2: Sweden vs. Czech Republic TBD TBD
Mon/Tues, March 28/29 Final (Russia vs. Poland winner will host) TBD TBD

Bracket (Path) C (1 World Cup berth)

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Thurs/Fri, March 24/25 Semi #1: Italy vs. North Macedonia TBD TBD
Thurs/Fri, March 24/25 Semi #2: Portugal vs. Turkey TBD TBD
Mon/Tues, March 28/29 Final (Portugal vs. Turkey winner will host) TBD TBD

World Cup Intercontinental Playoffs (2 berths)

There are four national teams that will advance to the FIFA intercontinental playoffs:

  • Asia: Winner of match between 3rd-place teams (currently UAE and Australia)
  • North America: 4th-place team (currently Panama)
  • Oceania: Qualifying winner TBD (schedule coming Nov. 29)
  • South America: 5th-place team (currently Peru)

The Nov. 26 draw will determine which continents will face off in each knockout match in June 2022 to complete the field of 32 World Cup teams. In the past, these were held over two legs, but due to schedule congestion caused by the COVID-19 pandemic they will be single-game knockout playoffs at a neutral venue.

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Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Mon, June 13 Asia vs. South America TBD TBD
Tues, June 14 North America vs. Oceania TBD TBD

When does the FIFA World Cup start?

  • Inaugural matches: Monday, Nov. 21, 2022
  • World Cup final: Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will kick off on a Monday with four matches in Qatar.

The World Cup final will still be held on a Sunday, as per tradition. The trophy will be hoisted by the winner on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022.

Which teams have qualified for the World Cup?

A total of 13 teams have officially qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including the host nation. That leaves 19 spots to be filled in the upcoming months.

In addition to host nation Qatar, there have been 10 nations from Europe to qualify for the tournament (10 qualifying group winners). Brazil was the first to earn a berth from South America with five qualifying matches left, and it was later joined by Argentina.

No. Nation Region How qualified
1 Qatar Asia Host
2 TBD Asia 1st - Asia Grp A
3 TBD Asia 2nd - Asia Grp A
4 TBD Asia 1st - Asia Grp B
5 TBD Asia 2nd - Asia Grp B
6 TBD Africa Winner - Africa Series 1
7 TBD Africa Winner - Africa Series 2
8 TBD Africa Winner - Africa Series 3
9 TBD Africa Winner - Africa Series 4
10 TBD Africa Winner - Africa Series 5
11 TBD N. America 1st - CONCACAF
12 TBD N. America 2nd - CONCACAF
13 TBD N. America 3rd - CONCACAF
14 Brazil S. America Top 4 - South America
15 Argentina S America Top 4 - South America
16 TBD S. America Top 4 - South America
17 TBD S. America Top 4 - South America
18 Serbia Europe 1st - Europe Group A
19 Spain Europe 1st - Europe Group B
20 Switzerland Europe 1st - Europe Group C
21 France Europe 1st - Europe Group D
22 Belgium Europe 1st - Europe Group E
23 Denmark Europe 1st - Europe Group F
24 Netherlands Europe 1st - Europe Group G
25 Croatia Europe 1st - Europe Group H
26 England Europe 1st - Europe Group I
27 Germany Europe 1st - Europe Group J
28 TBD Europe

Europe Playoff Bracket #1

Austria, Scotland, Ukraine or Wales

29 TBD Europe

Europe Playoff Bracket #2

Czech Rep., Poland, Russia or Sweden

30 TBD Europe

Europe Playoff Bracket #3

Italy, N. Macedonia, Portugal or Turkey

31 TBD TBD

Intercontinental Playoff #1

Asia or South America

32 TBD TBD

Intercontinental Playoff #2

North America or Oceania

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