Trending: FIFA 2022 World Cup Draw - The Results
After over two years of World Cup qualifier competitions across all six football confederations, twenty-nine teams out of thirty-two have booked their places in Qatar. Three spots have still to be decided. However, the draw for the 2022 tournament has been completed, with placeholders for the final three to reserve their slots.
The FIFA 2022 World Cup draw took place in Doha, the capital of Qatar, on Friday, April 1st, giving the world something that it has been waiting for...the all-important group list stating who will be going head-to-head in the first stages of the competition.
The thirty-two teams in contention have been drawn into eight groups of four for the upcoming knockout tournament. Each group's opponents will face one another in a round-robin format at the competition's Group Stage. At the end of the Group Stage, the top two squads from each group will advance to the Round of 16. So, the teams that make up each group are important…will the groupings give any favourable pairings, or are some teams going to be fighting an uphill battle from the start? Let's find out…
Prior to the April 1st draw, the thirty-two teams appearing at the World Cup this November were split into four Pots, determined by the latest FIFA Rankings.
Pot 1 consisted of the World Cup host Qatar and seven of the highest-ranked teams:
Pot 2 comprised the next eight highest-ranked teams:
Pot 3 was made up of the next eight highest-ranked teams after Pot 2:
Pot 4 included the next five highest-ranked teams after Pot 3 and the three placeholder places for the as yet to be determined nations:
Teams Yet To Qualify
Three teams are yet to qualify:
- The UEFA 2022 World Cup playoffs, to decide which runners-up from the main qualifiers competition would bag the final three tickets available to European nations, were interrupted by the Russian war on Ukraine. Russia was ousted from the competition, and Ukraine's semi-final playoff match against Scotland was postponed for obvious reasons. The deciding game between the two nations will, hopefully, go ahead in June 2022. Whichever team wins the battle will face off against Wales, who beat their semi-final opponent Austria. The final between Wales and either Scotland or Ukraine will also go ahead in June.
- Costa Rica and New Zealand, runners-up from the qualifier competitions in North, Central America and the Caribbean and Oceania, will go head-to-head on June 13/14th for a final shot at the 2022 tournament.
- Peru, the runner-up from the South American qualifier competition, will also battle in a head-to-head on June 13/14th for a final shot at the 2022 tournament. They will face off against the winner of a single-leg playoff (June 7th) between the runners-up from the Asian qualifiers, the UEA and Australia.
The draw itself was organised to ensure that each of the eight groups contained one team from each of the four pots available. Pot 1 was drawn first, with one of each team placed in each of the eight groups. Qatar was pre-drawn and placed in the first group, A1. The rest of the teams were drawn randomly and assigned a group. Once Pot 1 had been emptied, Pot 2 was drawn, and so on until all the teams in the pots were assigned.
The following groups were generated from the random draw (teams from the same confederation were kept apart, except for European teams, due to the high number of UEFA teams involved):
A1 - Qatar
A2 - Ecuador
A3 - Senegal
A4 - Netherlands
A1 - England
A2 - IR Iran
A3 - USA
A4 - Scotland/Ukraine/Wales
A1 - Argentina
A2 - Saudi Arabia
A3 - Mexico
A4 - Poland
A1 - France
A2 - Australia/UAE/Peru
A3 - Denmark
A4 - Tunisia
A1 - Spain
A2 - Costa Rica/New Zealand
A3 - Germany
A4 - Japan
A1 - Belgium
A2 - Canada
A3 - Morocco
A4 - Croatia
A1 - Brazil
A2 - Serbia
A3 - Switzerland
A4 - Cameroon
A1 - Portugal
A2 - Ghana
A3 - Uruguay
A4 - South Korea
Now, coaches and managers for the thirty-two teams competing at the World Cup will begin to map out their 'winning' strategies based on who they are playing within their group, their history with those teams and the stand out opponent players. While some groups might seem more challenging than others, and all groups have a top and bottom-ranked squad, there will be no easy rides. Every team will be looking to gain as many points as possible in each game to guarantee their place at the next level of the tournament, and lower-ranked teams will be ready to challenge those at the top to make their mark on football history.
The three CONCACAF slots for the 2022 World Cup have been filled - Mexico, the USA, and Canada will join twenty-nine other nations in Qatar this winter.
New Zealand routed the Solomon Islands in the final of the Oceania qualifiers to reach the World Cup playoffs and for a chance to be at the 2022 tournament.
After over two years of qualifiers, Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia are the five CAF nations to book their 2022 World Cup tickets to Qatar.
In Asia's final qualifier games, the UAE and Australia won their spots in a sudden-death match against one another for a chance at the inter-confederation playoffs.