FIFA World Cup 2022: UEFA group stage qualifying draw - as it happened

World Cup 2022: UEFA qualifying groups - live draw

Thanks for your company this evening for the draw as we now look forward to the action on the pitch commencing in March 2021.

A tricky group for Northern Ireland with Italy strong favourites in Group C to advance

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The final set of fixtures for these games will be confirmed over the next few days as meetings between the respective federations will determine the calendar.

England draw Poland again... a sense of deja-vu for fans of both nations with both countries coming head-to-head in countless World Cup qualfying groups. 

Scotland fans apparently happy with their draw 

No one group jumps out as a standout group...Group G looks tricky with the likes of Netherlands, Turkey and Norway

Confirmed UEFA groups

Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Rep of Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan

 Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo

 Group C: Italy, Switzerland, N.Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania 

Group D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia I H, Kazakhstan

 Group E: Belgium, Wales, Cz. Republic, Belarus, Estonia

 Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands, Moldova

Group G: Netherlands, Turkey,  Norway, Montenegro, Latvia, Gibraltar

Group H: Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta

Group I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino 

Group J: Germany, Romania, Iceland, N. Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein

5 teams to be selected and they will complete Groups F-J

Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Rep of Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan  / Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo  / Group C: Italy, Switzerland, N.Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania / Group D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia I H, Kazakhstan  / Group E: Belgium, Wales, Cz. Republic, Belarus, Estonia  / Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands / Group G: Netherlands, Turkey,  Norway, Montenegro, Latvia / Group H: Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus / Group I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra / Group J: Germany, Romania, Iceland, N. Macedonia, Armenia

Into the final stretch now.... Pot 5 imminent

Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Rep of Ireland, Luxembourg / Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia  / Group C: Italy, Switzerland, N.Ireland, Bulgaria / Group D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia I H / Group E: Belgium, Wales, Cz. Republic, Belarus  / Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel / Group G: Netherlands, Turkey,  Norway, Montenegro / Group H: Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia  / Group I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania / Group J: Germany, Romania, Iceland, N. Macedonia 

25 teams still to be drawn

Next up Pot 4....

Pot 3

Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Rep of Ireland / Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece / Group C: Italy, Switzerland, N.Ireland  / Group D: France, Ukraine, Finland / Group E: Belgium, Wales, Cz. Republic  / Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland / Group G: Netherlands, Turkey,  Norway / Group H: Croatia & Slovakia, Russia, Group I: England, Poland, Hungary / Group J: Germany, Romania, Iceland

Group A: Portugal & Serbia / Group B: Spain & Sweden / Group C: Italy & Switzerland / Group D: France & Ukraine

Group E: Belgium & Wales / Group F: Denmark & Austria / Group G: Netherlands & Turkey / Group H: Croatia & Slovakia

Group I: England & Poland / Group J: Germany & Romania

Time for Pot 2.......

Group F: Denmark - Group G: Netherlands - Group C: Italy -  Group H: Croatia - Group D: France - Group I: England - 

Group E: Belgium -  Group I: Germany 

Group B: Spain

We're all set ..... the balls are being spun and the first name out is ..... Group A: Portugal

Yarza runs through some 'housekeeping' procedural matters ahead of the first team being drawn.  

FIFA's acting director of competitions Jaime Yarza takes to the stage and will be assisted by the two former players.

Other group considerations

There are a series of factors that will ensure certain nations fail to meet due to political, geographical or climatic reasons. The likes of Russia-Ukraine, Kosovo-Serbia and Spain-Gibraltar cannot face one another due to political reasons. 

Severe winter conditions will also ensure that the likes of Iceland, Faroe Islands, Norway, Russia and Ukraine cannot be grouped together.

Travel distance is another factor that will be considered in grouping nations together to ensure that far flung nations such as Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan don't have to travel to the likes of Portugal or Iceland.

A reminder of the draw pots: 

​​​​​​Draw pots

Pot 1: Belgium: France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.:

Pot 2: Switzerland, Wales, Poland, Sweden, Austria, Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, Slovakia and Romania

Pot 3: Russia, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, Norway, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Greece and Finland

Pot 4: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Belarus, Georgia and Luxembourg

Pot 5: Armenia, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia and Andorra

Great... we now turn our attention to Qatar 2022 where a video talks us through the procedure confirming 13 teams will progress to the World Cup final in the Gulf nation.  

Still plenty of chat from the FIFA sofa as Van der Vaart praises the Belgian side. De Rossi lauds Deschamps ... Come on Cristina..... we want to see some draw action ! 

We now look back at the final games of the Russia 2018 competition where France overcame Croatia in the final match in Moscow. Great memories and somewhat odd to see packed stadiums. Fingers crossed that is something we can see again in 2021 with some of the UEFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers being held with supporters present.

Both players maintain that Spain are the nation to avoid. Neither Italy and Netherlands can draw Spain in the qualifying group stage with all three nations in the top seeded Pot A. 

Van der Vaart looking like he's enjoying life at the moment as he recalls his time on the international stage with the Netherlands. Both players recall the memory of Diego Maradona who passed away a few weeks ago and who's legacy on the World Cup will live forever. 

VDV

Rafael Van der Vaart joins De Rossi and Gullon on the FIFA couch.

De R

Gullon welcomes Daniele de Rossi who will assist with the draw tonight... De Rossi of AS Roma fame and who ended up his career with a spell at Boca Juniors. 

Spanish journalist Cristina Gullón sole host at present 

.....and we're live in Zurich......

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Pride of place, the World Cup trophy takes centre stage at the FIFA media room where the draw will be staged.

A reminder of the pots ahead of the draw:  

Fifa

The stage is set in Zurich...

Less than 15 minutes remain for the draw to commence in Zurich. I anticipate the draw to take approximately 60 minutes. The definitive schedule will be confirmed later this week after meetings between the relevant federations and rights holders.

2022 UEFA qualifying groups: match-days

​​​​​​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
Play-offs: 24, 25, 28, 29 March 2022

Lusail

2022 Qatar World Cup final dates: This World Cup will be held from 21 November to 18 December 2022 with Qatar (A1) opening the tournament at the Al Bayt Stadium. The conclusion of the competition will be staged at the 80,000 plus capacity Lusail Stadium on 18 Dec.

Tartan Army member William and his hope for the Scotland side 

Other group considerations

There are a series of factors that will ensure certain nations fail to meet due to political, geographical or climatic reasons. The likes of Russia-Ukraine, Kosovo-Serbia and Spain-Gibraltar cannot face one another due to political reasons. 

Severe winter conditions will also ensure that the likes of Iceland, Faroe Islands, Norway, Russia and Ukraine cannot be grouped together.

Travel distance is another factor that will be considered in grouping nations together to ensure that far flung nations such as Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan don't have to travel to the likes of Portugal or Iceland.

With 13 allocated spaces at the 2022 World Cup, UEFA (Europe) is the Confederation with the highest number of allocated teams. CAF (Africa) gets 5, CONMEBOL and the AFC (S.America and Asia) has an allocation of 4.5 nations with CONCACAF (North and Central America) 3.5. Oceania secure 0.5 places.

The .5 placings represent play-off games. 

Yarza

FIFA's acting director of competitions Jaime Yarza will host the event from Zurich this evening. 

All 55 nations have been seeded based on FIFA world rankings with 5 pots of 10 countries and 5 countries in pot 6 and the UEFA Nations League 2020-21 finalists - Belgium, France, Italy and Spain - will be drawn into a group with five teams (Groups A-E).

Draw pots

Pot 1: Belgium: France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.:

Pot 2: Switzerland, Wales, Poland, Sweden, Austria, Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, Slovakia and Romania

Pot 3: Russia, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, Norway, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Greece and Finland

Pot 4: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Belarus, Georgia and Luxembourg

Pot 5: Armenia, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia and Andorra

Pot 6: Malta, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and San Marino

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These are the designated dates for the qualifying stage for the 55 Uefa nations

13 teams qualify for the 2022 World Cup from the UEFA confederation in total with the 10 group winners heading to Qatar along with three teams from the play-off route.

The 10 group runners-up advance to a play-off stage along with the best two group winners from the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League.

The 2022 World Cup kicks off on 21 November 2022 at the Al Bayt stadium, just to the south of Al Khor and 20 minutes north of Qatari capital Doha.  

The draw is set to be a virtual event from FIFA's Zurich headquarters with former international players Daniele de Rossi and Rafael Van der Vaart on hand to assist in the draw process. 

Hello and a very warm welcome to our live coverage ahead of the draw for the UEFA qualifying groups for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

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