World Cup 2022: Who’s in the draw, who can still qualify and play-off matches explained

The first international break of the year has brought the final stages of World Cup qualification for many nations over the past week, but there is still some things yet to be decided

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England v Ivory Coast pictures

England may have qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year back in November but there was still plenty of action to unravel in the following months ahead of Friday’s final draw.

Most UEFA teams had already sealed their place at the tournament at the end of 2021 after winning their respective qualifying groups, but the past week has brought about the European play-offs, while much was decided elsewhere around the world.

Here is all you need to know about who has qualified for Qatar 2022, as well as who can still qualify and the upcoming play-off matches that are yet to be decided.

Europe (UEFA)

Qualified teams: Germany, Denmark, France, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal

UEFA has 13 participants at the World Cup and 10 of those were decided at the back end of 2021. Germany and Denmark were the first to qualify after winning their respective qualifying groups in October, before they were joined by France, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland and the Netherlands in November.

Portugal secured their place in Qatar with a 2-0 victory over North Macedonia in their World Cup play-off on Tuesday

Will one of Europe’s teams win the World Cup this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

The remaining three places are decided via three play-off paths based on the best second-placed teams in each group and two UEFA Nations League winners. Poland and Portugal secured their places on Tuesday after seeing off Sweden and North Macedonia, respectively, in their play-off finals.

The semi-final between Scotland and Ukraine will be contested in June, following Russia ’s invasion of Ukraine, and the winner will meet Wales in the final, who saw off Austria 2-1 in their semi-final on Friday, to determine UEFA’s final team in Qatar.

South America (CONMEBOL)

Qualified teams: Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay

Brazil finished top of the South American qualifying group to advance to the World Cup

CONMEBOL has four guaranteed participants at the World Cup and in November, Brazil were the first nation to progress, before Argentina followed suit five days later, to become the first two South American sides to secure their places.

In March’s international break, during the final round of qualifiers, Ecuador were back at the World Cup after missing out in 2018 when other results went their way, before Uruguay also confirmed their spot after beating Peru 1-0 on March 24.

Peru finished in fifth-place, at the expense of Colombia and Chile, which means they advance to the inter-confederation play-offs in June, where they will meet the winner of the Asian Fourth Round winner for a place at the World Cup.

Africa (CAF)

Qualified teams: Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia

Senegal defeated Egypt on penalties on Tuesday in a repeat of the 2021 AFCON final earlier this year


PA Images)

CAF is guaranteed five nations at the 2022 World Cup and those places were decided in the most recent round of fixtures, when 10 teams went head-to-head in two-legged play-offs to determine their fate ahead of this year’s tournament.

Senegal overcame Egypt in a repeat of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations final, while Cameroon beat Algeria, Ghana beat Nigeria, Morocco beat DR Congo and Tunisia overcame Mali, as some big names in African football failed to make it to Qatar.

Nigeria miss out on the World Cup for the first time since 2006, while Ivory Coast exited in the group stage, and the likes of Mohamed Salah and Riyad Mahrez will not be on show when the tournament gets underway at the end of the year.

Asia (AFC)

Qualified teams: Iran, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia

Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino helped fire Japan to the World Cup in Qatar during their qualifying phase


AFP via Getty Images)

AFC is guaranteed four nations at the 2022 World Cup and two of those were already confirmed back at the start of the year, when Iran and South Korea topped their qualifying group to progress, before Japan and Saudi Arabia did the same on March 24.

The two third-placed sides from each group, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Australia, will go head-to-head in a Fourth Round play-off to decide who advances through to the inter-confederation play-offs in June.

The winner of that tie will then face the fifth-placed team from South American qualifying, Peru, for one of the final two spots at the World Cup. This match will also take place in Qatar.

North America (CONCACAF)

Qualified teams: Canada

Canada have reached their first World Cup since 1986

CONCACAF has three guaranteed spots at the World Cup, although Canada are the only ones to have achieved this after beating Jamaica 4-0 on March 27, to reach their first World Cup since 1986 – their only other appearance.

The United States have virtually qualified due to their superior goal difference heading into the final round of fixtures on March 30, but will compete with Mexico and Costa Rica for the final two qualification spots.

The team who finishes in fourth-place will then advance to the inter-confederation play-offs, where they will face a side from Oceania to compete for one of the final two spots in Qatar.

Oceania (OFC)

Qualified teams: None

Chris Wood’s New Zealand will have to go through an inter-confederation play-off if they are to compete at the 2022 World Cup


Photosport NZ)

Oceania is the only continent to have no guaranteed spot at the FIFA World Cup, due to the superiority in quality compared to the rest of the world, although New Zealand usually have the best chance of making it this far.

And it is the Kiwi’s who will be contesting for a spot in the inter-confederation play-offs in June when they face the Solomon Islands in the final round of qualifying on March 30. New Zealand defeated Tahiti 1-0 in their semi-final, while the Solomon Islands overcame Papua New Guinea 3-2 in the other.

The winner of this match will face the fourth-placed team from the North American qualifying phase, which is currently occupied by Costa Rica as things stand, for one of the final two spots in Qatar in June.

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