Qatar 2022: Which national teams have qualified for the World Cup?
Just over half of the places at the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar have been sealed, with CAF and European nations to be decided during this FIFA break.
With nine months to go until the World Cup kicks off in Qatar on 21 November 2022, 17 of the 32 countries who will line up at the first-ever winter finals in the first World Cup to be held in the Arab world have now been confirmed.
2022 World Cup - qualified teams:
Qatar, who will be making their first appearance at a World Cup, qualified as hosts.
Four-time tournament winners Germany were the first team from Europe to seal their place at the 2022 World Cup, thumping North Macedonia 4-0 on 11 October to make sure of top spot in UEFA qualifying Group J.
Denmark also booked their ticket to Qatar in October’s international week, the Euro 2020 semi-finalists clinching first place in Group F when they beat Austria 1-0.
Five-time world champions Brazil, who sit top of CONMEBOL’s 10-team qualifying group, have been certain to finish in one of the four automatic World Cup spots since their 1-0 win over Colombia on 12 November.
The defending champions ensured top spot in UEFA qualifying Group D on 13 November, Kylian Mbappé hitting four goals as Les Bleus thrashed Kazakhstan 8-0 and opened up an unassailable lead over second-placed Finland.
Belgium, who came third at the 2018 World Cup, also confirmed their place at Qatar 2022 on 13 November, Les Diables Rouges’ 3-1 victory over Estonia ensuring that they can no longer be overhauled at the top of Group E.
2018 runners-up Croatia secured qualification from Group H in dramatic circumstances on 14 November. Facing a Russia side who needed just a point to finish top, Zlatko Dalic’s men won the crunch clash in Split - and consigned the Russians to the play-offs - thanks to an 81st-minute Fedor Kudryashov own goal.
Spain reached their 12th finals in a row on the same day, after seeing off Sweden in a top-of-the-table showdown in Seville. The 2010 World Cup winners needed only a draw to qualify automatically at the Swedes’ expense, but beat Janne Andersson’s side 1-0 courtesy of an Álvaro Morata strike.
Serbia left it even later than Croatia, Aleksandar Mitrovic’s 90th-minute goal in Lisbon on 14 November handing Dragan Stojkovic’s team a stunning, last-gasp victory over Portugal that saw the Serbs top Group A ahead of their hosts. The Portuguese had only needed a draw to avoid the play-offs.
Switzerland beat Bulgaria 4-0 to top Group A after Northern Ireland held Italy to a 0-0 draw in Belfast. Roberto Mancini's side will have to go through the play-off system to claim a place in the World Cup.
England scored 10 goals for the first time since 1964 in a complete thrashing of San Marino. Harry Kane scored four goals in 15 minutes as the Group I table-toppers booked their ticket for Qatar.
Three-times rinners-up Netherlands secured their place at the finals by topping Group G following a 2-0 victory over Norway to ensure there was no repeat of the debacle in 2018 when the World Cup stalwarts failed to qualify.
The 1978 and 1986 champions, who have qualified for every finals since 1974, ensured the tournament will witness Leo Messi's last hurrah in the World Cup by securing a top-two finish in CONMEBOL qualifying during the last round of games.
Iran ensured they will play in the World Cup finals for a third consecutive time in AFC qualifying with a record of seven wins and a draw from eight games.
In the same group as Iran, the Taegeuk Warriors will feature in the World Cup for a tenth consecutive time after also going undefeated (W6, D2). All that remains to be decided in AFC Group A is which of the two sides will top the group. They face each other in Seoul on 24 March.
Who else can qualify for the 2022 World Cup?
Nations already qualified: Qatar (hosts), Iran, South Korea
Confirmed World Cup places allocated: Hosts Qatar plus four (one further spot available via inter-confederation play-offs)
Nations that can still qualify: Saudi Arabia, Japan, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Iraq
Asian qualification has just two rounds of fixtures left in Groups A and B.
Iran and South Korea have already claimed the two automatic qualification spots in Group A, where both could remain undefeated throughout.
The race for the third-place playoff spot is still open, though, with the UAE, Lebanon and Iraq all still in contention.
UAE and Iraq actually playing one another in the first of the final two rounds of games.
In Group B, Saudi Arabia (19 points) and Japan (18 points) are in the best positions to seal the top two places, with Japan three points ahead of Australia, who are confirmed to finish at least third.
The two third-placed teams from Groups A and B will face each other for the right to compete in the inter-confederation play-offs, from which two teams will progress to the finals. More on that later...
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
The CAF World Cup qualifying play-offs have arrived, with all five spots to be decided in the next week over two legs.
Liverpool team-mates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané will face off in a repeat of the Africa Cup of Nations final 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, while 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 on Friday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 29.
Nations already qualified: None
Confirmed World Cup places allocation: Three (one further spot available via inter-confederation play-offs)
Nations that can still qualify: Canada, United States, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador
Three rounds remain in the CONCACAF qualifiers, with all of them scheduled for this international break, and all barring two of the eight participants can still qualify.
The top three in the group will qualify for Qatar, while fourth place goes into the inter-confederation play-offs.
Canada are on the verge of sealing only their second ever World Cup appearance as they top the group with 25 points, eight ahead of Panama in fourth.
The United States and Mexico are likeliest to join them, both sitting on 21 points.
Panama (17 points) are just one point ahead of Costa Rica, while El Salvador (nine points) still have very slim chance of a play-off berth.
Nations already qualified: Brazil, Argentina
Confirmed World Cup places allocation: Four (one further spot available via inter-confederation play-offs)
Nations that can still qualify: Ecuador, Uruguay, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Bolivia
Brazil and Argentina have already sealed the top two spots, but there is still plenty to play for in South America with the final two rounds ahead.
Surprise package Ecuador are guaranteed at least an inter-confederation play-off spot, and need just two points to seal an automatic place.
Uruguay currently occupy the final qualifying slot, but are just one point ahead of Peru in the play-off spot, and two ahead of Chile in sixth.
Colombia remarkably look set to miss out on the World Cup, needing two wins as well as hoping for favours from elsewhere, while Bolivia need the same just to scrape a play-off place.
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, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands
A mini-tournament is being held in Qatar after covid-19 played havoc with the normal qualifying schedule.
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.
Some fixtures have already been played, with Solomon Islands beating Cook Islands in Group A. The group, which also includes Tahiti, has been further affected by coronavirus after Vanuatu pulled out altogether due to a number of cases in their camp.
In Group B, New Zealand have already qualified after two wins from two against Papua New Guinea and Fiji, who both defeated New Caledonia to set up a crucial meeting against one another for the other semi spot.
Nations already qualified: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland
Confirmed World Cup places allocation: 13
Nations that can still qualify: Italy, Portugal, North Macedonia, Turkey, Scotland, Ukraine, Wales, Austria, Poland, Sweden, Czech Republic
Two of the biggest names in international football, Italy and Portugal, are on course to face each other in the single leg European qualifying play-offs.
The last two winners of the European Championships will meet in the Path C final should they first overcome North Macedonia and Turkey respectively in the semi-finals.
Complications have been thrown up in Path B in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. FIFA has banned Russia from its competitions and the Court of Arbitration for Sport turned down an application for a stay to enable Russia to participate in these play-offs.
Scheduled opponents Poland will therefore receive a bye and play the winner of Sweden and Czech Republic.
Path A has also been affected as Scotland's game with Ukraine has understandably been postponed, with the winner set to face either Wales or Austria.