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2022 World Cup play-off draw: times, teams & how to watch online

The 12 countries in Europe's 2022 World Cup qualifying play-offs are to find out who they'll be facing in Friday's draw in Zurich.

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2022 World Cup play-off draw: times, teams & how to watch online
Mark Thompson Getty Images

When is the European World Cup play-off draw?

2022 World Cup play-off draw: live online

The draw for the European 2022 World Cup qualifying play-offs will take place at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, on Friday 26 November 2021 at 5pm local time (CET).

In the US, that’s 11am ET and 8am PT.

Check out what time the play-off draw begins wherever you are in the world.

Which countries are in the play-off draw?

Pot 1: Italy, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Wales

Pot 2: Austria, Czech Republic, North Macedonia, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine

The six best-ranked group runners-up in European World Cup qualifying are seeded and go into Pot 1, while the four remaining second-placed finishers are in Pot 2.

Recently crowned European champions, Roberto Mancini's Italy have had to settle for place in the World Cup play-offs after being pipped to top spot in Group C by Switzerland.

Pot 2 is then completed by the two countries with the highest 2020/21 Nations League ranking that did not qualify automatically for the World Cup or reach the play-offs via European qualifying. They are Austria and the Czech Republic.

How will the play-off draw work?

The 12 countries in the play-offs are to be split up into three, four-team knockout tournaments described by UEFA as Path A, Path B and Path C. Each path will consist of two semi-finals and a final, all played in single-game format.

The six seeds in Pot 1 will all be given a home draw in the semi-finals. After the semi-finals have been played, a further draw will decide which countries are to be at home in the three finals.

Play-off bracket: Paths A, B and C

Path A:

Semi-final 1: Pot 1 team vs Pot 2 team

Semi-final 2: Pot 1 team vs Pot 2 team

Winners of semi-finals 1 and 2 meet in Path A final

Path B:

Semi-final 3: Pot 1 team vs Pot 2 team

Semi-final 4: Pot 1 team vs Pot 2 team

Winners of semi-finals 3 and 4 meet in Path B final

Path C:

Semi-final 5: Pot 1 team vs Pot 2 team

Semi-final 6: Pot 1 team vs Pot 2 team

Winners of semi-finals 5 and 6 meet in Path C final

For political reasons, Russia and Ukraine will be kept apart in the draw.

When will the European World Cup play-offs take place?

The semi-finals are to be played on Thursday 24 March 2022, with the three finals scheduled for Tuesday 29 March 2022.

The final winners will take the last three European spots at the 2022 World Cup, joining group winners Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland in Qatar.

How to watch the World Cup play-off draw

The play-off draw will be streamed live online on the FIFA website.

It will be followed by the draw for the 2022 World Cup inter-confederation play-offs, which will be held in June 2022 and involve four as yet unidentified countries from Asia, CONCACAF, South America and Oceania.

Play-off draw live with AS USA

You’ll also be able to follow the draw with AS USA. Paul Reidy will be manning a live blog on the event in Zurich, bringing you details of every pairing as it comes out of the hat.