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QATAR 2022

2022 World Cup UEFA play-off: draw, teams, format and dates

With the conclusion of the UEFA World Cup qualifying group stage we know the ten group winners and 12 sides who will battle for the final three WC places.

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification group A football match between Portugal and Serbia, at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, on November 14, 2021. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)

The curtain came down on the UEFA World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday (16 November) with ten nations automatically securing places at the Qatar tournament as group winners with another 12 sides advancing to the March 2022 play-offs with three additional places at the World Cup at stake.

UEFA World Cup representatives

Confirmed sides from the UEFA confederation already planning their Qatar trips as group winners are: Denmark, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Croatia, Serbia, England, Netherlands and Switzerland.

Play-off participants

The 12 nations vying for one of the three available spaces remaining in Qatar are seeded according to their group stage qualifying achievements.

Pot 1 (highest seeded sides)

Portugal, Scotland, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Wales

Pot 2 (lower seeded sides)

Turkey, Poland, North Macedonia, Ukraine and two sides who enter the play-off via the Nations League: Austria and Czech Republic.

Play-off draw date

The draw for the March play-offs will be staged on 26 November at 1700 CET in Zurich with the games set to take place on March 24 and 29 next year.

Play-off format

Three 'paths' will be created with each pathway offering a place at the Qatar 2022 World Cup. In each pathway, four teams will battle it out for a ticket to the Gulf. Two seeded sides will face two unseeded sides in the semi-final with the winners advancing to the final and the outright winner of each path heading to Qatar. A separate draw will be made to see which path semi-final winners play the final at home.

The draw for the World Cup 2022 is expected to be staged in Doha in April 2022 with the tournament getting underway on 21 November and the final scheduled for 18 December at the Lusail World Cup stadium.