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World Cup Qualifiers: Schedule, Play-Offs & Teams

The World Cup qualifiers are scheduled for March 2022 to decide the remaining teams that will feature in the tournament proper later this year.

The 2022 World Cup will take place in Qatar, with the kick-off scheduled to take place on November 20 at the Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor.

Only 13 nations have sealed their place at the upcoming tournament to date, with the remaining 19 yet to be determined. 

Let’s see who has already qualified for Qatar 2022 and who will have to fight their way through the play-offs. 

Who has qualified?

Qatar received an automatic berth at this year’s tournament as the host nation, making their first-ever World Cup finals.

Four-time World Cup winners Germany became the first team to reach the showpiece via the qualification process in Europe, with Denmark, Serbia, Switzerland, Netherlands, Spain and Croatia joining them.

Reigning world champions France and FIFA’s number one-ranked team Belgium also negotiated their qualifying campaigns with ease.

The same goes for England, who will be looking to better their fourth-place finish from 2018.

The most successful national team in World Cup history with five titles, Brazil made light work of their South American qualifying group to maintain their 100% qualification ratio. 

Brazil’s arch-rivals Argentina quickly followed, becoming the last national team to advance to the final tournament.

List of qualified teams:

  • Qatar
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Brazil
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Spain
  • Serbia
  • England
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland
  • Argentina 

World Cup Play-offs: Schedule & Teams

Portugal and European Championship winners Italy, accompanied by Austria, Czech Republic, North Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Scotland, Turkey, Ukraine and Wales, will have to go through the dreaded play-offs. 

The play-offs will take place during the upcoming international break in March, which will be held from March 24-29.

Although 12 teams will join the play-offs, only three will secure a place at the World Cup.

The draw held in Zurich on November 26, 2021, witnessed the six best-placed nations in World Cup qualifying granted home semi-final ties.

World Cup Play-off Draw

In each path, the semi-final winners will meet each other in the final to determine the last three European participants at the upcoming tournament.

Path A:

  • Scotland vs Ukraine
  • Wales vs Austria

Path B:

  • Russia vs Poland
  • Sweden vs Czech Republic

Path C:

  • Italy vs North Macedonia
  • Portugal vs Turkey

As such, one of Italy and Portugal will not make it to Qatar 2022.

World Cup qualifying play-offs – rest of the world

The inter-confederation play-offs will proceed with the usual two-legged format. 

It will see the winner of the Oceania qualifying group, the fourth-best North American team, the fifth-best South American side and the third-best in the two Asian qualifying groups drawn into two two-legged ties.

Only the two of them will advance to the World Cup.

In African qualifying, the ten group victors will be drawn into the two-legged continental play-offs, with only five qualifying for the Qatar showpiece. 

The next set of qualifying fixtures in Asia, North America and South America will take place between January 27 and February 2.

The final qualifying round on those three continents will be held from March 24-30.

World Cup Qualifying – Live Streaming Options

Check our list of football streaming sites to find out where you can watch World Cup qualifiers, and you can also see our World Cup live streaming page for info on how to watch the 2022 World Cup.

More World Cup Resources

World Cup News
World Cup Live Streaming
World Cup Draw
All World Cup Winners
All-Time World Cup Top Scorers