2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
Tournament details
Dates6 June 2019 – 21 September 2022
Teams206[note 1] (from 6 confederations)
Tournament statistics
Matches played865
Goals scored2,424 (2.8 per match)
Attendance8,912,978 (10,304 per match)
Top scorer(s)United Arab Emirates Ali Mabkhout
(14 goals)
2018
2026
All statistics correct as of 14 June 2022.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification[note 2] is the qualifying process which decided the 31 teams that will join hosts Qatar, who received an automatic spot, at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Parallel tournaments are organised by FIFA's six confederations. Qualification started on 6 June 2019, when the first match played was between Mongolia and Brunei, and is set to end on 21 September 2022. The first goal was scored by Mongolian player Norjmoogiin Tsedenbal. In contrast to previous editions, there was no general preliminary draw, with confederations carrying out separate draws due to their differing timelines.[citation needed][1] The qualification process has suffered numerous postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Qualified teams

Status of countries with respect to the 2022 FIFA World Cup: .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Team qualified   Team failed to qualify   Team withdrew or suspended   Not a FIFA member
Status of countries with respect to the 2022 FIFA World Cup:
  Team qualified
  Team failed to qualify
  Team withdrew or suspended
  Not a FIFA member
Team Method of
qualification
Date of
qualification
Total
times
qualified
Last
time
qualified
Current
consecutive
appearances
Previous best
performance
 Qatar Hosts 2 December 2010 1 1
 Germany UEFA Group J winners 11 October 2021 20[a] 2018 18 Winners (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014)
 Denmark UEFA Group F winners 12 October 2021 6 2018 2 Quarter-finals (1998)
 Brazil CONMEBOL winners 11 November 2021 22 2018 22 Winners (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
 France UEFA Group D winners 13 November 2021 16 2018 7 Winners (1998, 2018)
 Belgium UEFA Group E winners 13 November 2021 14 2018 3 Third place (2018)
 Serbia UEFA Group A winners 14 November 2021 13[b] 2018 2 Fourth place (1930, 1962)
 Spain UEFA Group B winners 14 November 2021 16 2018 12 Winners (2010)
 Croatia UEFA Group H winners 14 November 2021 6 2018 3 Runners-up (2018)
  Switzerland UEFA Group C winners 15 November 2021 12 2018 5 Quarter-finals (1934, 1938, 1954)
 England UEFA Group I winners 15 November 2021 16 2018 7 Winners (1966)
 Netherlands UEFA Group G winners 16 November 2021 11 2014 1 Runners-up (1974, 1978, 2010)
 Argentina CONMEBOL runners-up 16 November 2021 18 2018 13 Winners (1978, 1986)
 Iran AFC third round Group A winners 27 January 2022 6 2018 3 Group stage (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014, 2018)
 South Korea AFC third round Group A runners-up 1 February 2022 11 2018 10 Fourth place (2002)
 Saudi Arabia AFC third round Group B winners 24 March 2022 6 2018 2 Round of 16 (1994)
 Japan AFC third round Group B runners-up 24 March 2022 7 2018 7 Round of 16 (2002, 2010, 2018)
 Uruguay CONMEBOL third place 24 March 2022 14 2018 4 Winners (1930, 1950)
 Ecuador CONMEBOL fourth place 24 March 2022 4 2014 1 Round of 16 (2006)
 Canada CONCACAF third round winners 27 March 2022 2 1986 1 Group stage (1986)
 Ghana CAF third round winners 29 March 2022 4 2014 1 Quarter-finals (2010)
 Senegal CAF third round winners 29 March 2022 3 2018 2 Quarter-finals (2002)
 Poland UEFA play-offs Path B winners 29 March 2022 9 2018 2 Third place (1974, 1982)
 Portugal UEFA play-offs Path C winners 29 March 2022 8 2018 6 Third place (1966)
 Tunisia CAF third round winners 29 March 2022 6 2018 2 Group stage (1978, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2018)
 Morocco CAF third round winners 29 March 2022 6 2018 2 Round of 16 (1986)
 Cameroon CAF third round winners 29 March 2022 8 2014 1 Quarter-finals (1990)
 Mexico CONCACAF third round runners-up 30 March 2022 17 2018 8 Quarter-finals (1970, 1986)
 United States CONCACAF third round third place 30 March 2022 11 2014 1 Third place (1930)
 Wales UEFA play-offs Path A winners 5 June 2022 2 1958 1 Quarter-finals (1958)
 Australia AFC v CONMEBOL play-off winners 13 June 2022 6 2018 5 Round of 16 (2006)
 Costa Rica CONCACAF v OFC play-off winners 14 June 2022 6 2018 3 Quarter-finals (2014)
Notes
  1. ^ Germany between 1950 and 1990 competed as West Germany, as a separate East German team existed then.
  2. ^ This is the third appearance of Serbia at the FIFA World Cup. However, FIFA considers Serbia as the successor team of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro, who between them qualified on 10 occasions.

Qualification process

All FIFA member associations, of which there are currently 211, were eligible to enter qualification. Qatar, as hosts, qualified automatically for the tournament. However, Qatar was obliged by the AFC to participate in the Asian qualifying stage as the first two rounds also acted as qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.[2] Qatar won their group so the fifth-best group runners-up advanced to the AFC third round instead.[3] For the first time after the initial two tournaments of 1930 and 1934, the World Cup will be hosted by a country whose national team has never played a finals match before.[4] The reigning World Cup champions France also participated in qualifying as normal.[5]

Seven teams withdrew. Saint Lucia initially entered CONCACAF qualification, but later retreated. North Korea also withdrew from the AFC second qualifying round for safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. American Samoa and Samoa likewise retracted their participation ahead of the draw for the OFC qualifiers, while Tonga withdrew after the 2022 Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai eruption and tsunami. After COVID-19 outbreaks in their squads during the OFC qualifiers in Doha, Vanuatu and Cook Islands also withdrew.

The allocation of slots for each confederation was discussed by the FIFA Executive Committee on 30 May 2015 in Zürich after the FIFA Congress.[6] The committee decided that the same allocation used in 2006, 2010, and 2014 would be kept for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments:[7]

Summary of qualification

World Map FIFA2.svg
Confederation Available slots in finals Teams started Teams eliminated Teams qualified Qualifying start date Qualifying next match date Qualifying end date
AFC 4+1 or 5+1 45+1 40 5+1 6 June 2019 13 June 2022
CAF 5 54 49 5 4 September 2019 29 March 2022
CONCACAF 3 or 4 34 30 4 24 March 2021 14 June 2022
CONMEBOL 4 or 5 10 6 4 8 October 2020 21 September 2022 21 September 2022
OFC 0 or 1 7 7 0 17 March 2022 14 June 2022
UEFA 13 55 42 13 24 March 2021 5 June 2022
Total 31+1 205+1 174 31+1 6 June 2019 21 September 2022 21 September 2022

Status of Russia

On 9 December 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency initially handed Russia a four-year ban from all major international sporting events, after RUSADA was found non-compliant for handing over manipulated lab data to investigators.[8] However, the Russia national team could still enter qualification, as the ban only applies to the World Cup proper as a world championship. The WADA ruling allowed athletes who were not involved in doping or the coverup to compete, but prohibited the use of the Russian flag and anthem at major international sporting events.[9] An appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was filed,[10] but WADA's decision was upheld though reduced to a two-year ban.[11] The CAS ruling also allowed the name "Russia" to be displayed on uniforms if the words "Neutral Athlete" or "Neutral Team" have equal prominence.[12] If Russia had qualified for the tournament, its players would not have been able to use their country's name alone, flag or anthem at the World Cup, as a result of the nation's two-year ban from world championships and Olympic Games in all sports.[12]

On 27 February 2022, after the threat of boycotts by the Czech Republic, Poland and Sweden amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine,[13] FIFA prohibited the Russia national football team from playing home matches in Russia; the team would have to play matches behind closed doors at neutral sites. In addition, the team would have been prohibited from competing under the name, flag, or national anthem of Russia, and had to compete under the name "Football Union of Russia" (RFU).[14] On 28 February, however, in accordance with a recommendation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), FIFA suspended the participation of Russia.[15][16] Poland were subsequently given a walkover for their play-off semi-final match scheduled against Russia.[17] The Russian Football Union announced they would appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.[18] Their request for a temporary lift of the ban was rejected on 18 March.[19]

Format

The formats of the qualifying competitions depended on each confederation (see below). Each round might be played in either of the following formats:[20]

Tiebreakers

In league format, the ranking of teams in each group is based on the following criteria (regulations Articles 20.4 and 20.6):[20]

  1. Points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss)
  2. Overall goal difference
  3. Overall goals scored
  4. Points in matches between tied teams
  5. Goal difference in matches between tied teams
  6. Goals scored in matches between tied teams
  7. Away goals scored in matches between tied teams (if the tie is only between two teams in home-and-away league format)
  8. Fair play points
    • first yellow card: minus 1 point
    • indirect red card (second yellow card): minus 3 points
    • direct red card: minus 4 points
    • yellow card and direct red card: minus 5 points
  9. Drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee

In cases when teams finishing in the same position across different groups are compared to determine which teams advance to the next stage, the criteria depend on the competition format and require the approval of FIFA (regulations Article 20.8).[20]

In knockout format, the team that has the higher aggregate score over the two legs progresses to the next round. If aggregate scores finish level, then the away goals rule is applied.[a] The away goals rule is again applied after extra time.[b] If no goals are scored during extra time, the tie is decided by penalty shoot-out (regulations Article 20.10).[20]

  1. ^ The team that scored more goals away from home over the two legs progresses. If away goals are also equal, then 30 minutes of extra time are played, divided into two 15-minute halves
  2. ^ If there are goals scored during extra time and the aggregate score is still level, the visiting team qualifies by virtue of more away goals scored

Confederation qualification

AFC

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)

The opening two rounds of qualifying also served as qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. Therefore, Qatar, the 2022 FIFA World Cup host, only participated in the first two rounds of qualifying.[21]

The qualification structure is as follows:[22]

Final positions (third round)

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Third Round

Group A Group B
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Iran 10 25
2  South Korea 10 23
3  United Arab Emirates 10 12
4  Iraq 10 9
5  Syria 10 6
6  Lebanon 10 6
Source: FIFA, AFC
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Saudi Arabia 10 23
2  Japan 10 22
3  Australia 10 15
4  Oman 10 14
5  China PR 10 6
6  Vietnam 10 4
Source: FIFA, AFC

Fourth round

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Fourth Round

Team 1  Score  Team 2
United Arab Emirates  1–2  Australia

CAF

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)

CAF announced on 10 July 2019 a reversion to the format used for its 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification competition.[23]

Third round

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – CAF Third Round

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Egypt  1–1 (1–3 p)  Senegal 1–0 0–1 (a.e.t.)
Cameroon  2–2 (a)  Algeria 0–1 2–1 (a.e.t.)
Ghana  1–1 (a)  Nigeria 0–0 1–1
DR Congo  2–5  Morocco 1–1 1–4
Mali  0–1  Tunisia 0–1 0–0

CONCACAF

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF)

CONCACAF initially announced on 10 July 2019 a restructured format for the qualifiers of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.[24] However, on 25 June 2020, following FIFA's decision to postpone the September international window because of the pandemic, CONCACAF noted that "the challenges presented by postponements to the football calendar, and the incomplete FIFA rankings cycle in our confederation, means our current World Cup qualifying process has been compromised and will be changed."[25] On 27 July, CONCACAF announced a new qualifying format for the World Cup.[26]

Final positions (third round)

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Third Round

Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Canada 14 28
2  Mexico 14 28
3  United States 14 25
4  Costa Rica 14 25
5  Panama 14 21
6  Jamaica 14 11
7  El Salvador 14 10
8  Honduras 14 4
Source: FIFA, CONCACAF

CONMEBOL

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONMEBOL)

The CONMEBOL Council decided on 24 January 2019 to maintain the same qualification structure used for the previous six tournaments.[28] From October 2020 to September 2022 (previously scheduled for March 2020 to November 2021, but later postponed by the pandemic), all ten CONMEBOL teams play in a league of home-and-away round-robin matches. The top four teams qualified for the World Cup and the fifth-placed team advanced to the inter-confederation play-offs.

Current stage

Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Brazil (Q) 17 45
2  Argentina (Q) 17 39
3  Uruguay (Q) 18 28
4  Ecuador (Q) 18 26
5  Peru (A) 18 24
6  Colombia (E) 18 23
7  Chile (E) 18 19
8  Paraguay (E) 18 16
9  Bolivia (E) 18 15
10  Venezuela (E) 18 10
Updated to match(es) played on 29 March 2022. Source: FIFA, CONMEBOL
(A) Advance to a further round; (E) Eliminated; (Q) Qualified for the phase indicated

OFC

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC)

Qualifying was expected to begin in September 2020,[29] but the FIFA international window in that month for the OFC was postponed by the pandemic.[30]

Earlier in July that year, the OFC submitted a proposal to FIFA for the qualifiers in response to the pandemic, intending to organise a group stage in March and June 2021 followed by semi-finals and a final in September and October of that year.[31] After continued delays,[32][33] by September 2021 the OFC felt it was "not possible at this time to organise a qualifying competition within the Oceania region" and it was instead staged in Qatar in March 2022.[34][35]

The qualifying stage was to be a single match on 13 March 2022 between the two lowest-ranked participating OFC nations in the FIFA World Rankings, with the winner advancing to the group stage. Then eight remaining teams were drawn into two groups of four, playing single leg round-robin. The top two teams from each group advanced to a single leg knockout stage. The final winner advanced to the inter-confederation play-offs.

Final stage

 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
27 March 2022 – Doha (Al-Arabi)
 
 
 Solomon Islands3
 
30 March 2022 – Doha (Al-Arabi)
 
 Papua New Guinea2
 
 Solomon Islands0
 
27 March 2022 – Doha (Al-Arabi)
 
 New Zealand5
 
 New Zealand1
 
 
 Tahiti0
 

UEFA

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA)

The draw for the first round (group stage) was held in Zürich, Switzerland, on 7 December 2020, 18:00 CET (UTC+1).[36] However, because of the pandemic, the draw was held as a virtual event without any representatives of member associations present. It was originally planned to be held on 29 November.[37] Earlier on 18 June, the UEFA Executive Committee approved the draw regulations for the qualifying group stage.[38] The 55 teams were seeded into six pots based on the FIFA Men's World Rankings of November 2020, after the league phase of the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League.

The qualification format was confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee during their meeting in Nyon, Switzerland on 4 December 2019.[39][40] The qualification depends, in part, on results from the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League, although to a lesser degree than UEFA Euro 2020. The structure maintained UEFA's usual 'group stage/playoff stage' structure, with only the specific format of the play-offs amended.[41][42]

Final positions (first round)

Group A Group B Group C
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Serbia 8 20
2  Portugal 8 17
3  Republic of Ireland 8 9
4  Luxembourg 8 9
5  Azerbaijan 8 1
Source: FIFA, UEFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Spain 8 19
2  Sweden 8 15
3  Greece 8 10
4  Georgia 8 7
5  Kosovo 8 5
Source: FIFA, UEFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1   Switzerland 8 18
2  Italy 8 16
3  Northern Ireland 8 9
4  Bulgaria 8 8
5  Lithuania 8 3
Source: FIFA, UEFA
Group D Group E Group F
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  France 8 18
2  Ukraine 8 12
3  Finland 8 11
4  Bosnia and Herzegovina 8 7
5  Kazakhstan 8 3
Source: FIFA, UEFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Belgium 8 20
2  Wales 8 15
3  Czech Republic 8 14
4  Estonia 8 4
5  Belarus 8 3
Source: FIFA, UEFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Denmark 10 27
2  Scotland 10 23
3  Israel 10 16
4  Austria 10 16
5  Faroe Islands 10 4
6  Moldova 10 1
Source: FIFA, UEFA
Group G Group H Group I
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Netherlands 10 23
2  Turkey 10 21
3  Norway 10 18
4  Montenegro 10 12
5  Latvia 10 9
6  Gibraltar 10 0
Source: FIFA, UEFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Croatia 10 23
2  Russia 10 22
3  Slovakia 10 14
4  Slovenia 10 14
5  Cyprus 10 5
6  Malta 10 5
Source: FIFA, UEFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  England 10 26
2  Poland 10 20
3  Albania 10 18
4  Hungary 10 17
5  Andorra 10 6
6  San Marino 10 0
Source: FIFA, UEFA
Group J
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Germany 10 27
2  North Macedonia 10 18
3  Romania 10 17
4  Armenia 10 12
5  Iceland 10 9
6  Liechtenstein 10 1
Source: FIFA, UEFA

Second round

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Second Round

 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
24 March 2022 – Cardiff
 
 
 Wales2
 
5 June 2022 – Cardiff
 
 Austria1
 
 Wales1
 
1 June 2022 – Glasgow
 
 Ukraine0
 
 Scotland1
 
 
 Ukraine3
 
 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
Cancelled
 
 
 Russia
 
29 March 2022 – Chorzów
 
 Poland[note 3]w/o
 
 Poland2
 
24 March 2022 – Solna
 
 Sweden0
 
 Sweden (a.e.t.)1
 
 
 Czech Republic0
 
 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
24 March 2022 – Porto
 
 
 Portugal3
 
29 March 2022 – Porto
 
 Turkey1
 
 Portugal2
 
24 March 2022 – Palermo
 
 North Macedonia0
 
 Italy0
 
 
 North Macedonia1
 

Inter-confederation play-offs

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (inter-confederation play-offs)

There were two inter-confederation play-offs[note 4] to determine the final two qualification spots for the finals. They were played in Qatar on 13–14 June 2022.[43][44]

AFC v CONMEBOL

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC–CONMEBOL play-off)

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Australia  0–0 (a.e.t.) (5–4 p)  Peru

CONCACAF v OFC

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF–OFC play-off)

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Costa Rica  1–0  New Zealand

Top goalscorers

There have been 2424 goals scored in 865 matches, for an average of 2.8 goals per match (as of 14 June 2022). Players highlighted in bold are still active in the competition.

14 goals

13 goals

12 goals

10 goals

9 goals

8 goals

Below are goalscorer lists for all confederations and the inter-confederation play-offs:

Notes

  1. ^ Cook Islands and North Korea withdrew, and Russia were suspended after playing some matches. American Samoa, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu withdrew before playing.
  2. ^ Also the "FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers".
  3. ^ Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia were suspended,[16] and Poland advanced to the final on a walkover.[17]
  4. ^ Described by FIFA's website as "FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 intercontinental play-offs".

References

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  3. ^ a b "Groups finalised for Qatar 2022 & China 2023 race". China.org.cn. 18 July 2019.
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  15. ^ "Fifa and Uefa suspend all Russian teams". BBC Sport. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  16. ^ a b c "FIFA/UEFA suspend Russian clubs and national teams from all competitions". FIFA (Press release). 28 February 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
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