August 12, 2022

Format, parenthesis, teams and dates

the European qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup finished and officially there are 10 nations qualified to play in Qatar, but 12 other teams advance to the next round, the playoffs, to fight for one last chance. Two big names will be in the qualifiers, Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo and the Italians who lost a good streak in the qualifying round.

The 10 teams that will not have to play in the European qualifiers are: Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Croatia, England and Germany. It was to be expected that most of the countries named above would qualify as they were all playing football at their best.

The playoffs are somewhat complex for fans with less technical football knowledge, but the teams that will contest the qualifiers are those that did not win the groups in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers. Two other teams from the Nations League join the 10 teams from the group stage of the playoffs.

How will the European Qualifying Playoffs format unfold?

Teams who failed to win their group in the European Qualifiers and who finished in 2nd place automatically advance to the knockout round, officially known as the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualification – UEFA Second Round. The teams that did not win their group in the qualifiers are: Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Ukraine, Wales, Scotland, Turkey, Russia, Poland and Macedonia.

In addition to the teams mentioned above which did not take 1st place during the group stage of the playoffs, two other teams will join them, coming from the first and second highest ranked Nations League to play the playoffs: Austria and Czech Republic.

UEFA will conduct a draw where the 12 teams will be divided into 2 pots to draw lots for the semi-finals which will be played in three ways from March 24. The playoffs will be played as follows:

  • The top six ranked teams that did not qualify directly for Qatar 2022 are considered “seeded”, while the other six are considered unseeded. Both categories are based on points and goals in qualifying.
  • The Playoffs will be played in three lanes defined as Lane A, B and C. The semi-finals of the lanes will be played from March 24, 2022 and the final of each of the lanes on March 29, 2022.
  • The seeded teams will play two-set semi-finals against the unseeded teams, but the finals will be a single set. The home ground for the finals will be decided by another draw once all the semi-finals have been completed.
  • At the end of the qualifiers, there will be three final-winning teams that will be part of the main European group of nations that will play at Qatar 2022.
Pots before drawing.

Pot 1 (seeded)

Team Rank
Portugal 1
Scotland 2
Italy 3
Russia 4
Sweden 5
Wales 6

Pot 2 (unclassified)

Team Rank
Turkey seven
Poland 8
North Macedonia 9
Ukraine ten
Austria NL–18
Czech Republic NL–19

When is the draw for the European Qualifying Playoffs?

The draw will take place November 26 at 11:00 a.m. (ET) in Zurich, Switzerland. This is a typical draw as we do with other UEFA tournaments. The coin toss is necessary to prevent seeded teams from playing with each other, and thus build a competitive tournament between unseeded and seeded teams.

Which teams will play in the European qualifiers?

Two big names will compete in the European Qualifying Playoffs, Portugal and Italy as they could not qualify directly for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Portugal couldn’t do anything to clinch 1st place in Group A and Italy were left with 16 points in second place in Group C.

The teams that will take part in the 2022 European qualifying playoffs are: Portugal, Scotland, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Wales, Turkey, Poland, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Austria and the Czech Republic.

Plant Group Team name Games O D L GF Georgia GD Points Sowing
1 A Portugal 8 5 2 1 17 6 +11 17 Seeded in the semi-finals
2 F Scotland 8 5 2 1 14 seven +7 17
3 VS Italy 8 4 4 0 13 2 +11 16
4 H Russia 8 5 1 2 14 5 +9 16
5 B Sweden 8 5 0 3 12 6 +6 15
6 E Wales 8 4 3 1 14 9 +5 15
seven g Turkey 8 4 3 1 18 16 +2 15 Not classified in the semi-final draw
8 I Poland 8 4 2 2 18 ten +8 14
9 J North Macedonia 8 3 3 2 14 11 +3 12
ten D Ukraine 8 2 6 0 11 8 +3 12

Austria and the Czech Republic are excluded from the main draw as they advance to the playoffs thanks to their Nations League ranks.

What are the important dates for the European Qualifying Playoffs?

The most important date is the draw which will take place on November 26 in the city of Zurich, Switzerland at 11:00 a.m. (ET). Another important date for the playoffs is the start of games, the On March 24, the seeded and unseeded teams will play the first leg of the semi-finals and to finish the playoffs, all The finals will be played on March 29.

European table of 2022 World Cup qualifiers

Big surprise in the draw for the European qualifiers since it was not expected that Portugal and Italy would have to face each other for a place in Qatar 2022. It is impossible to think that Cristiano Ronaldo will not participate in the next FIFA World Cup, but Portugal must overcome Turkey to play in the final of Path C against Italy, and the Italians should win against Macedonia. North to reach the final against Portugal. The semi-finals are played on March 24 and the final on March 29.

Path A

Semi-finals: Scotland play against Ukraine, and Wales play against Austria
The final will be hosted on the winner’s home ground between Wales and Austria.

Path B

Semi-finals: Russia plays Poland and Sweden plays Czech Republic
The final will be hosted on the winner’s home ground between Russia and Poland.

Path C

Semi-finals: Italy take on North Macedonia and Portugal take on Turkey
The final will be hosted on the winner’s home ground between Portugal and Turkey.


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