2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Qualifier Rules & Match Guide

From Thursday March 24, the qualifiers begin to decree the last three European national teams that will participate in the World Cup in Qatar. Italy will be involved in the semi-final with North Macedonia and, if successful, they will face the winner of Portugal-Turkey. Here are the competitions, program and rules in detail

Twelve teams (which became eleven due to the exclusion of Russia) e only three places available for Qatar 2022. Between Thursday 24 and Tuesday 29 March, the qualifiers will decide the fate of these national teams: the 10 runners-up from the qualifying groups plus the two best from the last Nations League (Austria and Czech Republic). Only three will join the 10 winners of the groupings through a new challenge mechanism that will see prestigious national teams, including Italy, compete. Two direct elimination races (semi-finals and final) which will decide the last qualified for the world championship which will take place next winter in Qatar. But let’s see in detail which teams will play the playoffs and how the new formula works.

The teams involved in the playoffs

  • Austria
  • Wales
  • Italy
  • North Macedonia
  • Portugal
  • Czech Republic
  • Scotland
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

Poland already in the final for the exclusion of Russia

How the playoffs work

The 10 teams that finished in second place in the group stage and the two best from the last Nations League (Austria and Czech Republic) that did not qualify in the group stage participate in the Qatar 2022 qualifiers The 12 teams have been divided into three groups, each of which includes as many routes through two semi-final matches (single match) and a final (in the event of a tie there will be extra time and possible penalties). The winners of the three finals will qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

Scheduled matches and races

ROUTE A

Semi-finals

Scotland-Ukraine – postponed

Wales-Austria – Thursday March 24 at 8:45 p.m.

The final

Scotland/Ukraine Vs Wales/Austria – date TBD

ROUTE B

Semi-finals

Russia-Poland*

Sweden-Czech Republic – Thursday March 24 at 8:45 p.m.

* Poland already in the final excluding Russia

The final

Poland Vs Sweden / Czech Republic – Tuesday March 29 at 8:45 p.m.

ROUTE C

Semi-finals

Italy-North Macedonia- Thursday March 24 at 8:45 p.m. (Barbera Palermo Stadium)

Portugal-Turkey – Thursday March 24 at 8:45 p.m.

The final

Italy/ North Macedonia Vs Portugal / Turkey – Tuesday March 29 at 8:45 p.m.

When the World Cup is played

For the first time in history, a World Cup is played in a month other than May, June or July. The tournament is indeed scheduled for the period from November 21 to December 18. The final tournament draw will take place on Friday, April 1, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.

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