November 04, 2020

Europe to Map Out World Cup Route in December

Almost a year after most of the rest of the world mapped out their routes to Qatar in 2022, FIFA recently announced that the draw for the European section of the World Cup qualifiers would be taking place this December (7th). A welcome piece of news for fans across the continent who are eagerly waiting to see whether their team qualifies for the greatest sports event in the world.

The draw will lack the pomp and ceremony usually reserved for the occasion due to COVID-19 restrictions currently in place. Instead, the draw will take place in Zurich as a virtual event without the presence of member associations’ representatives. The broadcast and live-stream event will take place at 6 pm, local time.

Thirteen places are allocated to UEFA teams, and fifty-five teams are in the running for those slots. The draw will split those fifty-five into ten groups - five groups of six, and five groups of five.

Seeding is determined by each country’s FIFA ranking (as of November 26th) with teams allocated to one of six pots (five pots containing ten teams and one-pot with five). The ten highest-ranked teams will be assigned to Pot 1 and so on until the five lowest-ranked teams are placed in the sixth Pot. Currently, the top ten-seeded teams would be Belgium, France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

Following the qualifying tournament, the 10 group winners will advance directly to the 2022 competition in Qatar, with a further three places available to the ten qualifier group runners-up and the two best 2020/21 UEFA Nations League group winners. The three slots will be contested via play-off matches (two rounds of single-leg elimination games) to determine the continent’s final three.

The qualifiers will be played between March and November 2021.

Main Image: Piotr Piatrouski/

Published: October 23, 2020
Last updated: November 04, 2020
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