UEFA’s 55 member associations on Monday evening learned their group opponents in the race for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The teams will be whittled down to 13 for the final tournament with the matches set to be spread over the coming year up until early 2022.
So, what are some of the key points to note?
How does it work?
There are two stages to qualifying:
Teams will be split into ten groups of five with the winners qualify for the World Cup.
The ten group runners-up are joined by the two best group winners of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League overall ranking that have neither qualified directly for the final tournament as European Qualifiers group winners nor entered the play-offs already as European Qualifiers group runners-up.
The 12 teams will be drawn into three play-off paths for one-off semi-finals and a final. The three path winners qualify for the World Cup.
- Matchday 1: 24–25 March 2021
- Matchday 2: 27–28 March 2021
- Matchday 3: 30–31 March 2021
- Matchday 4: 1–2 September 2021
- Matchday 5: 4–5 September 2021
- Matchday 6: 7–8 September 2021
- Matchday 7: 8–9 October 2021
- Matchday 8: 11–12 October 2021
- Matchday 9: 11–13 November 2021
- Matchday 10: 14–16 November 2021
- Play-offs: 24, 25, 28, 29 March 2022
The 22nd finals in Qatar will be the first World Cup not held in May, June, or July; the tournament is instead scheduled for a reduced timeframe between 21 November to 18 December. The draw will be in April 2022.