WORLD CUP 2022
Which teams have qualified for the 2022 World Cup?
With another round of 2022 World Cup qualifiers upon us, Stats Perform looks at how the various qualification campaigns are shaping up.
The 2022 World Cup is now under 10 months away but only 13 of the 32 finals spots have been wrapped up.
That leaves 19 teams battling it out to join the likes of Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, England and Germany in Qatar later this year.
While the qualifying process has concluded for some countries, for others it is very much in full swing ahead of the latest batch of fixtures.
The timing of this international window may be unique, with nations still playing catch-up in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but it is all to play for when qualifying resumes.
And for teams in the AFC, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL sections, this month could prove make-or-break for many as far as their hopes of reaching Qatar go.
Here, Stats Perform runs through how the various qualification campaigns around the globe are shaping up…
Nations already qualified: Qatar (hosts)
Confirmed World Cup places allocated: Hosts Qatar plus four (one spot available via inter-confederation play-offs)
Nations that can still qualify: Iran, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Australia, Oman, China
Asian qualification is now into its decisive third stage, with Vietnam the only side that has no hope of advancing with four rounds of fixtures to go.
Iran and South Korea look good value to claim the two automatic qualification spots in Group A, where they both remain undefeated after six games.
South Korea trail leaders Iran by two points, but they are a healthy eight clear of the United Arab Emirates in third.
In Group B, Saudi Arabia are in charge with 16 points and well on course to qualify. Japan are four points adrift in second and have Australia hot on their heels with 11.
The two third-placed teams will face each other in the next stage for the right to compete in the inter-confederation play-offs, from which two teams will progress to the finals.
Nations already qualified: None
Confirmed World Cup places allocated: Five
Nations that can still qualify: Egypt, Senegal, Cameroon, Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria, DR Congo, Morocco, Mali, Tunisia
All focus may be on the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, but the draw for the CAF World Cup qualifying play-offs took place last week and there are some intriguing ties.
Liverpool team-mates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané will face off when Egypt take on Senegal, while fellow heavyweights Ghana and Nigeria have also been paired together.
Cameroon and Mali will face Algeria and Tunisia respectively, meanwhile, and DR Congo are up against Morocco in their bid to reach the finals for the first time.
The ties will be played over two legs at the end of March, with the winners making up Africa's five World Cup representatives.
Nations already qualified: None
Confirmed World Cup places allocation: Three (one spot available via inter-confederation play-offs)
Nations that can still qualify: Canada, United States, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Jamaica, El Salvador, Honduras
There is still a fair amount of time for things to change in the CONCACAF qualifiers, with each team having only played eight out of 14 matches in the final group stage.
It is looking very good for Canada, whose only appearance in FIFA's showpiece competition came in 1986, as they are top of the group with 16 points.
However, the United States (15 points) and Mexico (14 points) are hot on their heels in the other two automatic qualification berths.
Panama also have 14 points and are in possession of the inter-confederation play-off berth, boasting a five-point gap on Costa Rica in fifth.
Nations already qualified: Brazil, Argentina
Confirmed World Cup places allocation: Four (one spot available via inter-confederation play-offs)
Nations that can still qualify: Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, Venezuela
Perennial World Cup participants Brazil and Argentina can count down the days to November's tournament kicking off in Qatar after confirming their attendance late last year.
Surprise package Ecuador are in a great position to join them as they are third on 23 points, six better off than Colombia in the fourth and final automatic qualifying berth.
Just two points separate Colombia (17) in the inter-confederation play-off and Bolivia (15) in eighth, with Peru (17), Chile (16) and Uruguay (16) also hanging on in there.
With each of those sides playing twice over the next week, and Venezuela effectively the only team out of contention, it should set up an exciting final round of qualifiers in March.
Nations already qualified: None
Confirmed World Cup places allocation: None (one spot available via inter-confederation play-offs)
Nations that can still qualify: New Zealand, Tahiti, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Cook Islands
Despite being in a World Cup year, qualifying has yet to even start in Oceania as a knock-on effect of the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the closure of borders.
It was announced in November that a mini-tournament will instead be held in Qatar over a two-week period during the March international window.
The two-lowest ranked nations in the region, Tonga and the Cook Islands, will meet in a one-off qualifying match for the right to contest in the group stage.
The winner of that match will join the Solomon Islands, Tahiti and Vanuatu in Group A, while Group B consists of New Zealand, New Caledonia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
Each team plays their group opponents once. The winners and runners-up qualify for a single-leg semi-final, with the two winners then contesting a single-leg final.
The winner of that game will advance to the inter-confederation play-off, more on that a little later...
Nations already qualified: Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Croatia, England, Germany
Confirmed World Cup places allocation: 13
Nations that can still qualify: Italy, Portugal, North Macedonia, Turkey, Scotland, Ukraine, Wales, Austria, Russia, Poland, Sweden, Czech Republic
There were some big surprises in November's final batch of group-stage qualifiers in the European section, with Italy and Portugal still not sure of their place in the finals.
The past two European champions finished second to Serbia and Switzerland in their respective groups, meaning that they must now go through the play-off round.
And that is not all, as the pair are on a collision course to meet in the Path C final should they first overcome North Macedonia and Turkey respectively in the semi-finals.
Elsewhere, Scotland meet Ukraine and Wales take on Austria in Path A, while Russia face Poland and Sweden are up against the Czech Republic in Path B.
Each of those six semi-finals will be played over one leg in March, as will the three finals the same month, with each winning nation advancing to Qatar 2022.
Confirmed World Cup places allocation: Two
For three of the teams that fail to qualify automatically, they have the safety net of the inter-continental play-offs, where they will be joined by the best team from Oceania.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the usual home-and-away-leg format has been scrapped this year, so single-game matches will be held in Qatar in June.
It has already been confirmed that the fifth-placed side from CONMEBOL qualifying will meet the fourth-round winners from the AFC section.
In the other one-off match, the winner of the OFC mini-tournament will go face-to-face with the CONCACAF third-round winners for the 32nd and final place at Qatar 2022.
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