Groups for World Cup 2022 determined April 1st

World Cup 2022 draw: which teams have qualified and how does it work?

Your essential guide to Friday’s draw in Qatar, including when it is happening and how the groups will be decided

The official World Cup match ball pictured in Doha, Qatar.
The official World Cup match ball pictured in Doha, Qatar. Photograph: Mohamed Ali Abdelwahid/Fifa/AFP/Getty Images

Guardian sport, Thu 31 Mar 2022 05.44 EDT

When and where is the draw taking place?

On Friday in Doha, Qatar, at 7pm local time (5pm BST). It will be broadcast live on fifa.com, and theguardian.com/sport will have coverage as it unfolds.

Which countries have qualified?

Twenty-nine of the 32 places have been filled.

Hosts Qatar.

Africa Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia.

Asia Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea.

North, Central America and Caribbean Canada, Mexico, USA.

Europe Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland.

South America Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Uruguay.

What about the remaining three slots?

The final European berth is due to be decided in June with Scotland facing Ukraine in a playoff semi-final and the winners taking on Wales. Scotland’s manager, Steve Clarke, has suggested those games could be subject to further delay.

The other two places will go to the winners of intercontinental playoffs, contested on 13-14 June in Qatar, with Costa Rica facing New Zealand and Peru taking on the UAE or Australia, who first play the Asian confederation playoff in Doha on 7 June.

The World Cup on display in Doha at the Fifa Congress on Thursday.
The World Cup on display in Doha at the Fifa Congress on Thursday. Photograph: Michael Regan/Fifa/Getty Images

How will the draw work?

The teams are divided into four pots based on the Fifa rankings published on Thursday. Pot 1 comprises Qatar as hosts and the seven highest-ranked qualified teams. Pot 2 has the next eight highest-ranked qualified teams, Pot 3 the eight highest-qualified after that, and Pot 4 the five best-ranked teams after that and placeholders representing the two winners of the intercontinental playoffs and the remaining European playoff winner.

Pot 1 Qatar, Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, England, Spain, Portugal.

Pot 2 Mexico, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Uruguay, Switzerland, USA, Croatia.

Pot 3 Senegal, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Serbia, Poland, South Korea, Tunisia.

Pot 4 Cameroon, Canada, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Wales/Scotland/Ukraine, Costa Rica/New Zealand, Peru/UAE/Australia.

Each World Cup group will contain one team from each pot. First each team in Pot 1 will be allocated a group, then each team in Pots 2, 3 and 4 to create eight groups of four. Each pot will be emptied before the next pot is drawn. Qatar will be allocated position A1 but in every other case a ball will be drawn from a team pot, then a ball drawn from a group pot to determine where they will be placed.

Teams from the same confederation will be kept apart in the groups with the exception of European teams, of which there will be 13. Five of the eight groups will have two European teams.

When will the tournament take place?

It runs from 21 November to 18 December at eight venues.

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