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|Dates||6 June 2019 – March 2022 (expected)|
|Teams||211 (expected) (from 6 confederations)|
|Goals scored||370 (2.74 per match)|
|Attendance||1,776,253 (13,157 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Omar Al Somah|
The 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification process is a series of tournaments organised by the six FIFA confederations to decide 31 of the 32 teams which would play in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with Qatar qualifying automatically as hosts. All 210 remaining FIFA member associations are eligible to enter the qualifying process.
Qualifiers opened in June 2019 with Mongolian player Norjmoogiin Tsedenbal scoring the first goal of qualification on 6 June. Unlike previous tournaments, it was agreed that there will be no general preliminary draw, with various draws to be held separately due to "a different timeline" for various confederations.
- 1 Qualified teams
- 2 Qualification process
- 3 Format
- 4 Confederation qualification
- 5 Inter-confederation play-offs
- 6 Top goalscorers
|Qatar||Hosts||2 December 2010||1st||N/A||1||-|
The 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers began in June 2019 and are expected to finish in March 2022.
Not all regional federations have announced their qualification process for the 2022 World Cup. All FIFA member associations, of which there are currently 211, are eligible to enter qualification. Qatar, as hosts, qualified automatically for the tournament. However, Qatar is obliged by the AFC to participate in the Asian qualifying stage as the first two rounds also act as qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. If they finish as winners or runners-up in their group, the fifth-best group runners-up will advance instead. 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. The reigning World Cup champions France will also go through qualifying stages as normal.
The allocation of slots for each confederation was discussed by the FIFA Executive Committee on 30 May 2015 in Zürich after the FIFA Congress. The committee decided that the same allocation used in 2006, 2010 and 2014 would be kept for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments:
- AFC (Asia): 4 or 5
- CAF (Africa): 5
- CONCACAF (North, Central America and Caribbean): 3 or 4
- CONMEBOL (South America): 4 or 5
- OFC (Oceania): 0 or 1
- UEFA (Europe): 13
- Hosts: 1
Summary of qualification
On 9 December 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency handed Russia a four-year ban from all major sporting events, after RUSADA was found non-compliant for handing over manipulating lab data to investigators. However, the Russia national team could still enter qualification, as the ban only applies to the final tournament to decide the world champions. If Russia were to qualify, Russian footballers could still potentially compete at the tournament, pending a decision from FIFA. However, a team representing Russia which uses the Russian flag and anthem cannot participate under the WADA decision.
|Confederation||Available slots in finals||Teams started||Teams eliminated||Teams still playing||Teams qualified||Qualifying start date||Qualifying next match date||Qualifying end date|
|AFC||4 or 5 +1||45+1||10||35||0+1||6 June 2019||26 March 2020||March 2022|
|CAF||5||54||14||40||0||4 September 2019||23 March 2020||16 November 2021|
|CONCACAF||3 or 4||35||0||35||0||31 August 2020||31 August 2020||March 2022|
|CONMEBOL||4 or 5||10||0||10||0||23 March 2020||23 March 2020||March 2022|
|OFC||0 or 1||11||0||11||0||2020||2020||March 2022|
|UEFA||13||55||0||55||0||25 March 2021||25 March 2021||29 March 2022|
|Total||31+1||210+1||24||186||0+1||6 June 2019||23 March 2020||March 2022|
The formats of the qualifying competitions depended on each confederation (see below). Each round might be played in either of the following formats:
- League format, where more than two teams formed groups to play home-and-away round-robin matches, or in exceptions permitted by the FIFA Organising Committee, single round-robin matches hosted by one of the participating teams or on neutral territory.
- Knockout format, where two teams played home-and-away two-legged matches.
In league format, the ranking of teams in each group is based on the following criteria (regulations Articles 20.4 and 20.6):
- Points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss)
- Overall goal difference
- Overall goals scored
- Points in matches between tied teams
- Goal difference in matches between tied teams
- Goals scored in matches between tied teams
- Away goals scored in matches between tied teams (if the tie is only between two teams in home-and-away league format)
- 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
- Drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee
In cases where teams finishing in the same position across different groups are compared for determining which teams advance to the next stage, the criteria are dependent on the competition format and require the approval of FIFA (regulations Article 20.8).
In knockout format, the team that has the higher aggregate score over the two legs progresses to the next round. In the event that aggregate scores finish level, the away goals rule is applied, i.e. the team that scored more goals away from home over the two legs progresses. If away goals are also equal, then thirty minutes of extra time are played, divided into two fifteen-minutes halves. The away goals rule is again applied after extra time, i.e. 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. If no goals are scored during extra time, the tie is decided by penalty shoot-out (regulations Article 20.10).
- Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)
The qualification structure is as follows:
- First round: 12 teams (ranked 35–46) played home-and-away over two legs. The six winners advanced to the second round.
- Second round: 40 teams (ranked 1–34 (including Qatar as the host) and six first round winners) were divided into eight groups of five teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The eight group winners and the four best group runners-up advance to the third round of FIFA World Cup qualification as well as qualify for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. If Qatar finish as winners in their group or as one of the four best runners-up, the fifth-best runners-up will go to the third round in their stead.
- Third round: The 12 teams which will have advanced from the second round will be divided into two groups of six teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The top two teams of each group will qualify for the World Cup, and the third-placed teams will play against each other over two legs. The winner will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs, playing a team from a confederation to be determined.
Current stage (second round)
- Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round
- 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.
- First round: 28 teams (ranked 27–54) played home-and-away over two legs. The 14 winners advanced to the second round.
- Second round: 40 teams (teams ranked 1–26 and 14 first round winners) will be divided into 10 groups of four teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The 10 group winners will advance to the third round.
- Third round: The 10 teams which will have advanced from the second round will play home-and-away over two legs. The five winners will qualify for the World Cup.
Most recent stage (first round)
- Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – CAF First Round
|Team #1||Agg.||Team #2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Burundi||2–2 (0–3 p)||Tanzania||1–1||1–1 (a.e.t.)|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||1–3||Guinea-Bissau||0–1||1–2|
|South Sudan||1–2||Equatorial Guinea||1–1||0–1|
- Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF)
CONCACAF announced on 10 July 2019 a restructured format for the qualifiers of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It will commence in September 2020.
- Top-seeded Hexagonal group: The top 6 ranked CONCACAF teams based on the FIFA rankings of June 2020 will play home-and-away round-robin matches in one single group (often referred to as the "Hexagonal"). The top three teams will qualify for the World Cup, and the fourth-placed team will advance to the CONCACAF play-off round.
- Lower-seeded group stage and knockout stage: The remaining CONCACAF teams (ranked 7 to 35 based on the FIFA rankings of June 2020) will be divided into eight groups (five groups of four teams and three groups of three teams) to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The winners of each group will advance to a knockout stage, consisting of the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final to be played in a two-legged home-and-away series. The winner of the knockout stage will advance to the CONCACAF play-off round.
- Play-off round: The fourth-placed team of the Hexagonal group will face the winner of the knockout stage in order to advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.
- 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. From March 2020 to November 2021, all of ten CONMEBOL teams will play in a league of home-and-away round-robin matches. The top four teams qualify for the World Cup, and the fifth-placed team advances to the inter-confederation play-offs.
2022 FIFA World Cup
- Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC)
- Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA)
The qualification format was confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee during their meeting in Nyon, Switzerland on 4 December 2019, pending validation from FIFA. The qualification will depend, in part, on results from the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League, although to a lesser degree than 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.
- First Round (Group stage): 10 groups of 5 or 6 teams (with the 4 teams that make the 2021 UEFA Nations League Finals put into the smaller groups) with group winners qualifying for the World Cup finals.
- Second Round (Play-off stage): The 10 group runners-up would be joined by the best 2 Nations League group winners based on the Nations League overall ranking which have not yet directly qualified or reached the play-offs. These 12 teams will be drawn into three play-off paths, playing two rounds of single-match play-offs (semi-finals and finals, with the home team to be drawn), with the 3 path winners qualifying for the World Cup.
There will be two inter-confederation playoffs to determine the final two qualification spots for the finals. They are scheduled to be played in March 2022.
There have been 370 goals scored in 135 matches, for an average of 2.74 goals per match (as of 19 November 2019). Players highlighted in bold are still active in the competition.
|2022 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|First Round · Second Round · Third Round · Fourth Round (play-off)|
|First Round · Second Round · Third Round|
|Top-Seeded Round (Hexagonal) · Lower-Seeded Round Group Stage · Knockout Stage · Play-off Round|
|First Round · Second Round · Third Round|
|First Round (Group A · Group B · Group C · Group D · Group E · Group F · Group G · Group H · Group I · Group J) · Second Round (play-offs) Related: Nations League|
|CONMEBOL v CONCACAF · OFC v AFC|
|2022 FIFA World Cup|