2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA)
Tournament details
Dates24 March 2021 – 29 March 2022
Teams55 (from 1 confederation)
Tournament statistics
Matches played150
Goals scored445 (2.97 per match)
Attendance1,117,002 (7,447 per match)
Top scorer(s)Netherlands Memphis Depay
Serbia Aleksandar Mitrović
(7 goals each)
2018
2026
All statistics correct as of 8 September 2021.

The European section of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification acts as qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, to be held in Qatar, for national teams that are members of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).[1] A total of 13 slots in the final tournament are available for UEFA teams.[2]

Entrants

All 55 FIFA-affiliated national teams from UEFA entered qualification.

On 9 December 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency initially handed Russia a four-year ban from all major sporting events, after RUSADA was found non-compliant for handing over manipulated lab data to investigators.[3] However, the Russia national team could still enter qualification, as the ban only applies to the final tournament to decide the world champions. 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.[4] An appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was filed,[5] but WADA's decision was upheld and reduced to a two-year ban.[6] The CAS ruling also allowed the name "Russia" to be displayed on uniforms if the words "Neutral Athlete" or "Neutral Team" have equal prominence.[7] If Russia qualifies for the tournament, its players will not be 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.[7]

Format

The qualification format was confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee during their meeting in Nyon, Switzerland, on 4 December 2019.[8][9] The qualification will depend, in part, on results from the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League, although to a lesser degree than the 2018–19 UNL had on qualification to UEFA Euro 2020. The structure will maintain UEFA's usual 'group stage/playoff stage' structure, with only the specific format of the play-offs amended.[10][11][12]

On 4 December 2019, the UEFA Executive Committee initially approved the use of the video assistant referee system for the qualifiers.[10] However, VAR was not implemented at the start of qualification due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on operational and logistical capabilities.[13] On 5 August 2021, UEFA announced that the VAR system would be used for the remainder of qualification, starting from September 2021.[14]

Schedule

Below is the schedule of the European qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.[9]

In March 2020, UEFA announced that the two matchdays planned to take place in June 2021 would be moved following the rescheduling of UEFA Euro 2020 to June and July 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[15] To allow for the completion of the qualifying group stage in November 2021 as scheduled, UEFA announced on 24 September 2020 that the March and September 2021 windows in the FIFA International Match Calendar were expanded from two to three matchdays.[16][17] The changes to the International Match Calendar for March and September 2021, which extended each window by one day, were approved by the FIFA Council on 4 December 2020.[18]

Round Matchday Dates
First round
(group stage)
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
Second round
(play-offs)
Semi-finals 24–25 March 2022
Finals 28–29 March 2022

The original schedule of the qualifying group stage, as planned before the pandemic, was as follows.[9]

Original group stage schedule
Matchday Dates
Matchday 1 25–27 March 2021
Matchday 2 28–30 March 2021
Matchday 3 4–5 June 2021
Matchday 4 7–8 June 2021
Matchday 5 2–4 September 2021
Matchday 6 5–7 September 2021
Matchday 7 7–9 October 2021
Matchday 8 10–12 October 2021
Matchday 9 11–13 November 2021
Matchday 10 14–16 November 2021

First round

Seeding

The draw for the first round (group stage) was held in Zürich, Switzerland, on 7 December 2020, 18:00 CET (UTC+1).[19][20][21][22][23][24] However, due to the COVID-19 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 2020.[25] On 18 June 2020, the UEFA Executive Committee approved the draw regulations for the qualifying group stage.[26] The draw was presented by Spanish journalist Cristina Gullón and conducted by FIFA's acting director of competitions, Jaime Yarza.[27] He was assisted by former footballers Daniele De Rossi and Rafael van der Vaart, who drew the balls from the pots.[28]

The 55 teams were seeded into six pots based on the FIFA World Rankings of November 2020, after the conclusion of the league phase of the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League. Pots 1 to 5 contained ten teams, while Pot 6 contained five teams. The teams were drawn into ten groups: five groups of five teams (Groups A–E) and five groups of six teams (Groups F–J). The draw started with Pot 1 and completed with Pot 6, from where a team was drawn and assigned to the first available group in alphabetical order. Therefore, each six-team group contains one team from each of the six pots, while each five-team group contains one team from each of the first five pots.[29]

The following restrictions were applied with computer assistance:[17][30][31]

Teams were allocated to seeding pots as follows (November 2020 FIFA Rankings shown in second column).[32][33]

Pot 1
Team Rank
 Belgium 1
 France 2
 England 4
 Portugal 5
 Spain 6
 Italy 10
 Croatia 11
 Denmark 12
 Germany 13
 Netherlands 14
Pot 2
Team Rank
  Switzerland 16
 Wales 18
 Poland 19
 Sweden 20
 Austria 23
 Ukraine 24
 Serbia 30
 Turkey 32
 Slovakia 33
 Romania 37
Pot 3
Team Rank
 Russia 39
 Hungary 40
 Republic of Ireland 42
 Czech Republic 42
 Norway 44
 Northern Ireland 45
 Iceland 46
 Scotland 48
 Greece 53
 Finland 54
Pot 4
Team Rank
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 55
 Slovenia 62
 Montenegro 63
 North Macedonia 65
 Albania 66
 Bulgaria 68
 Israel 87
 Belarus 88
 Georgia 89
 Luxembourg 98
Pot 5
Team Rank
 Armenia 99
 Cyprus 100
 Faroe Islands 107
 Azerbaijan 109
 Estonia 109
 Kosovo 117
 Kazakhstan 122
 Lithuania 129
 Latvia 136
 Andorra 151
Pot 6
Team Rank
 Malta 176
 Moldova 177
 Liechtenstein 181
 Gibraltar 195
 San Marino 210

Groups

The fixture list was confirmed by UEFA on 8 December 2020, the day following the draw.[34][35][36] Qatar are partnered with the five-team Group A, which enables the 2022 World Cup hosts to play centralised friendlies against these countries on their "spare" match dates. However, these friendlies do not count in the qualifying group standings.[37][38]

Group A

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group A

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification Portugal Serbia Luxembourg Republic of Ireland Azerbaijan
1  Portugal 5 4 1 0 11 4 +7 13 Qualification to 2022 FIFA World Cup 14 Nov 12 Oct 2–1 1–0
2  Serbia 5 3 2 0 12 7 +5 11 Advance to second round 2–2 4–1 3–2 12 Oct
3  Luxembourg 4 2 0 2 5 8 −3 6 1–3 9 Oct 14 Nov 2–1
4  Republic of Ireland (Y) 5 0 2 3 5 8 −3 2 11 Nov 1–1 0–1 1–1
5  Azerbaijan (E) 5 0 1 4 3 9 −6 1 0–3 1–2 11 Nov 9 Oct
Updated to match(es) played on 7 September 2021. Source: FIFA, UEFA
(E) Eliminated; (Y) Cannot qualify directly, may only advance to the play-offs

Group B

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group B

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification Spain Sweden Greece Kosovo Georgia (country)
1  Spain 6 4 1 1 13 5 +8 13 Qualification to 2022 FIFA World Cup 14 Nov 1–1 3–1 4–0
2  Sweden 4 3 0 1 7 3 +4 9 Advance to second round 2–1 12 Oct 9 Oct 1–0
3  Greece 4 1 3 0 5 4 +1 6 11 Nov 2–1 14 Nov 1–1
4  Kosovo 5 1 1 3 3 9 −6 4 0–2 0–3 1–1 12 Oct
5  Georgia (Y) 5 0 1 4 2 9 −7 1 1–2 11 Nov 9 Oct 0–1
Updated to match(es) played on 8 September 2021. Source: FIFA, UEFA
(Y) Cannot qualify directly, may only advance to the play-offs

Group C

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group C

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification Italy Switzerland Northern Ireland Bulgaria Lithuania
1  Italy 6 4 2 0 12 1 +11 14 Qualification to 2022 FIFA World Cup 12 Nov 2–0 1–1 5–0
2   Switzerland 4 2 2 0 4 1 +3 8 Advance to second round 0–0 9 Oct 15 Nov 1–0
3  Northern Ireland 4 1 2 1 4 3 +1 5 15 Nov 0–0 0–0 12 Nov
4  Bulgaria 5 1 2 2 3 6 −3 5 0–2 1–3 12 Oct 1–0
5  Lithuania (Y) 5 0 0 5 1 13 −12 0 0–2 12 Oct 1–4 9 Oct
Updated to match(es) played on 8 September 2021. Source: FIFA, UEFA
(Y) Cannot qualify directly, may only advance to the play-offs

Group D

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group D

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification France Ukraine Finland Bosnia and Herzegovina Kazakhstan
1  France 6 3 3 0 8 3 +5 12 Qualification to 2022 FIFA World Cup 1–1 2–0 1–1 13 Nov
2  Ukraine 5 0 5 0 6 6 0 5 Advance to second round 1–1 1–1 12 Oct 1–1
3  Finland 4 1 2 1 4 5 −1 5 16 Nov 9 Oct 2–2 1–0
4  Bosnia and Herzegovina 4 0 3 1 5 6 −1 3 0–1 16 Nov 13 Nov 2–2
5  Kazakhstan 5 0 3 2 5 8 −3 3 0–2 2–2 12 Oct 9 Oct
Updated to match(es) played on 7 September 2021. Source: FIFA, UEFA

Group E

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group E

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification Belgium Czech Republic Wales Belarus Estonia
1  Belgium 6 5 1 0 21 4 +17 16 Qualification to 2022 FIFA World Cup 3–0 3–1 8–0 13 Nov
2  Czech Republic 5 2 1 2 8 7 +1 7 Advance to second round 1–1 8 Oct 1–0 16 Nov
3  Wales 4 2 1 1 5 5 0 7 16 Nov 1–0 13 Nov 0–0
4  Belarus (Y) 5 1 0 4 6 15 −9 3 0–1 11 Oct 2–3 4–2
5  Estonia (Y) 4 0 1 3 6 15 −9 1 2–5 2–6 11 Oct 8 Oct
Updated to match(es) played on 8 September 2021. Source: FIFA, UEFA
(Y) Cannot qualify directly, may only advance to the play-offs

Group F

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group F

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification Denmark Scotland Israel Austria Faroe Islands Moldova
1  Denmark 6 6 0 0 22 0 +22 18 Qualification to 2022 FIFA World Cup 2–0 5–0 12 Oct 12 Nov 8–0
2  Scotland 6 3 2 1 9 5 +4 11 Advance to second round 15 Nov 9 Oct 2–2 4–0 1–0
3  Israel 6 3 1 2 14 11 +3 10 0–2 1–1 5–2 15 Nov 12 Oct
4  Austria 6 2 1 3 9 13 −4 7 0–4 0–1 12 Nov 3–1 15 Nov
5  Faroe Islands (Y) 6 1 1 4 4 14 −10 4 0–1 12 Oct 0–4 9 Oct 2–1
6  Moldova (Y) 6 0 1 5 3 18 −15 1 9 Oct 12 Nov 1–4 0–2 1–1
Updated to match(es) played on 7 September 2021. Source: FIFA, UEFA
(Y) Cannot qualify directly, may only advance to the play-offs

Group G

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group G

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification Netherlands Norway Turkey Montenegro Latvia Gibraltar
1  Netherlands 6 4 1 1 22 6 +16 13 Qualification to 2022 FIFA World Cup 16 Nov 6–1 4–0 2–0 11 Oct
2  Norway 6 4 1 1 12 5 +7 13 Advance to second round 1–1 0–3 11 Oct 13 Nov 5–1
3  Turkey 6 3 2 1 16 13 +3 11 4–2 8 Oct 2–2 3–3 13 Nov
4  Montenegro 6 2 2 2 8 9 −1 8 13 Nov 0–1 16 Nov 0–0 4–1
5  Latvia 6 1 2 3 7 10 −3 5 8 Oct 0–2 11 Oct 1–2 3–1
6  Gibraltar (Y) 6 0 0 6 3 25 −22 0 0–7 0–3 0–3 8 Oct 16 Nov
Updated to match(es) played on 7 September 2021. Source: FIFA, UEFA
(Y) Cannot qualify directly, may only advance to the play-offs

Group H

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group H

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification Croatia Russia Slovakia Slovenia Malta Cyprus
1  Croatia 6 4 1 1 8 1 +7 13 Qualification to 2022 FIFA World Cup 14 Nov 11 Oct 3–0 3–0 1–0
2  Russia 6 4 1 1 10 4 +6 13 Advance to second round 0–0 8 Oct 2–1 2–0 11 Nov
3  Slovakia 6 2 3 1 7 5 +2 9 0–1 2–1 11 Nov 2–2 2–0
4  Slovenia 6 2 1 3 4 7 −3 7 1–0 11 Oct 1–1 1–0 14 Nov
5  Malta 6 1 1 4 6 11 −5 4 11 Nov 1–3 14 Nov 8 Oct 3–0
6  Cyprus 6 1 1 4 1 8 −7 4 8 Oct 0–2 0–0 1–0 11 Oct
Updated to match(es) played on 7 September 2021. Source: FIFA, UEFA

Group I

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group I

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification England Albania Poland Hungary Andorra San Marino
1  England 6 5 1 0 18 2 +16 16 Qualification to 2022 FIFA World Cup 12 Nov 2–1 12 Oct 4–0 5–0
2  Albania 6 4 0 2 10 6 +4 12 Advance to second round 0–2 12 Oct 1–0 15 Nov 5–0
3  Poland 6 3 2 1 19 8 +11 11 1–1 4–1 15 Nov 3–0 9 Oct
4  Hungary 6 3 1 2 12 10 +2 10 0–4 9 Oct 3–3 2–1 12 Nov
5  Andorra (Y) 6 1 0 5 4 14 −10 3 9 Oct 0–1 12 Nov 1–4 2–0
6  San Marino (E) 6 0 0 6 1 24 −23 0 15 Nov 0–2 1–7 0–3 12 Oct
Updated to match(es) played on 8 September 2021. Source: FIFA, UEFA
(E) Eliminated; (Y) Cannot qualify directly, may only advance to the play-offs

Group J

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group J

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification Germany Armenia Romania North Macedonia Iceland Liechtenstein
1  Germany 6 5 0 1 17 2 +15 15 Qualification to 2022 FIFA World Cup 6–0 8 Oct 1–2 3–0 11 Nov
2  Armenia 6 3 2 1 7 9 −2 11 Advance to second round 14 Nov 3–2 11 Nov 2–0 1–1
3  Romania 6 3 1 2 9 6 +3 10 0–1 11 Oct 3–2 11 Nov 2–0
4  North Macedonia 6 2 3 1 11 6 +5 9 11 Oct 0–0 0–0 14 Nov 5–0
5  Iceland 6 1 1 4 6 14 −8 4 0–4 8 Oct 0–2 2–2 11 Oct
6  Liechtenstein (Y) 6 0 1 5 2 15 −13 1 0–2 0–1 14 Nov 8 Oct 1–4
Updated to match(es) played on 8 September 2021. Source: FIFA, UEFA
(Y) Cannot qualify directly, may only advance to the play-offs

Second round

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

The second round (play-offs) will be contested by the ten group runners-up and the best two Nations League group winners, based on the Nations League overall ranking,[39] who finished outside the top two of their qualifying group. They will be separated into three play-off paths, with each path featuring two single-leg semi-finals and one single-leg final. The semi-finals will be hosted by the six best-ranked runners-up of the qualifying group stage, while the host of the final will be determined by a draw.[40] The semi-finals will be played on 24–25 March, and the finals on 28–29 March 2022. The winners of each path will qualify for the World Cup.

Nations League group winners

UNL Rank UNL group winner Qualifying
group
A 1–4  France dagger D
 Belgium dagger E *
 Italy dagger C
 Spain dagger B
B 17  Wales double-dagger E *
18  Austria double-dagger F *
19  Czech Republic dagger E *
20  Hungary I
C 33  Slovenia H
34  Montenegro G *
35  Albania dagger I
36  Armenia dagger J
D 49  Gibraltar (T) G *
50  Faroe Islands (Z) F *

Key

Top goalscorers

There have been 445 goals scored in 150 matches, for an average of 2.97 goals per match (as of 8 September 2021). Players highlighted in bold are still active in the competition.

7 goals

6 goals

5 goals

4 goals

Below is full goalscorers lists for all groups and play-offs round:

References

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