When will AFC, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL & OFC teams qualify for World Cup inter-confederation play-offs?
We're yet to find out which countries will be involved in the World Cup inter-confederation play-offs, which will determine the final two spots at Qatar 2022.
The draw for the 2022 World Cup inter-confederation play-offs, which are to decide the final two qualifiers for the tournament in Qatar, is to be held at FIFA HQ on Friday 26 November. However, we don’t yet know the identity of any of the teams involved.
Inter-confederation play-offs scheduled for next summer
Scheduled for 13 and 14 June 2022, the inter-confederation play-offs will feature one team each from Asia (AFC); South America (AFC); Oceania (OFC); and North America, Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF).
The four countries will be paired off into two single-leg play-offs held at neutral venues, with the winners of each match booking their spot at the World Cup.
In the inter-confederation play-offs for the 2018 World Cup - which were held over two legs - Australia saw off Honduras in an AFC vs CONCACAF match-up, and Peru beat New Zealand in a CONMEBOL vs OFC clash.
The draw for the 2022 World Cup inter-confederation play-offs will take place after the European World Cup play-off draw, which begins at 5pm CET (11am ET/8am PT).
Inter-confederation play-offs: what's the state of play in AFC, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and OFC qualifying?
In Asia, the two third-placed finishers in in the third round of World Cup qualifying will progress to a fourth-round play-off to be held in single-game format in May or June 2022. The winner of that tie will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.
With four matchdays to go in the third round, which involves two six-team groups, the United Arab Emirates and Australia currently occupy the fourth-round play-off spots.
The country that comes fourth in CONCACAF’s third-round qualifying group will qualify for the inter-confederation play-offs. Eight matchdays have so far been played in the eight-team group, with Panama presently in the play-off position.
The final round of CONCACAF qualifying fixtures is scheduled for 30 March 2022.
The fifth-placed team in South America’s 10-nation qualifying group goes into the inter-confederation play-offs. With 14 matchdays gone, that’s currently Peru.
CONMEBOL’s qualifying group is due to finish on 29 March 2022.
World Cup qualifying is yet to begin in Oceania. In September, the OFC said it was “not possible at this time to organise a qualifying competition within the Oceania region” due to “logistical challenges presented by the covid-19 pandemic”, and announced its intention to playing its qualifiers in Qatar in “early 2022”.
It remains unclear what the format for the OFC’s rearranged qualifiers will be and whether all eligible nations will still be taking part. In Oceania’s original plan for 2022 World Cup qualifying, the four teams to advance from an 11-team round-robin stage were to fight it out for an inter-confederation play-off place in a knockout-format second round.