2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
|Dates||6 June 2019 – March 2022 (expected)|
|Teams||211 (expected) (from 6 confederations)|
|Goals scored||32 (2.91 per match)|
|Attendance||53,108 (4,828 per match)|
The 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification process will be a series of tournaments organised by the six FIFA confederations to decide 31 of the 32 teams which would play in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with Qatar qualifying automatically as hosts. All 210 remaining FIFA member associations are eligible to enter the qualifying process.
The qualifying draw is scheduled to take place on 17 July 2019.[not in citation given] However, qualifiers opened a month earlier, with Mongolian player Norjmoogiin Tsedenbal scoring the first goal of qualification on 6 June 2019. Due to "a different timeline" of all confederations "for their qualifiers to the tournament, it has been agreed that a preliminary draw will be held separately for each one of them".
|Qatar||Host||2 December 2010||1st||N/A||1||-||55|
The 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers began in June 2019 and are expected to finish in March 2022.
Not all regional federations have announced their qualification process for the 2022 World Cup. All FIFA member associations, of which there are currently 211, are eligible to enter qualification. Qatar, as hosts, qualified automatically for the tournament. However, Qatar is obliged by the AFC to participate in the Asian qualifying stage as the first two rounds also act as qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. If they reach the final stage, their choice on whether to continue with World Cup qualifying is subject to FIFA approval. If the hosts choose not to compete, the next-ranked team will advance instead. For the first time after the initial two tournaments of 1930 and 1934, the World Cup will be hosted by a country whose national team has never played a finals match before. The reigning World Cup champions France will also go through qualifying stages as normal.
The allocation of slots for each confederation was discussed by the FIFA Executive Committee on 30 May 2015 in Zürich after the FIFA Congress. The committee decided that the same allocation as used in 2006, 2010 and 2014 would be kept for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments:
- CAF (Africa): 5
- AFC (Asia): 4 or 5
- UEFA (Europe): 13
- CONCACAF (North and Central America and Caribbean): 3 or 4
- OFC (Oceania): 0 or 1
- CONMEBOL (South America): 4 or 5
- Hosts: 1
|Confederation||Available slots in finals||Teams started||Teams eliminated||Teams still playing||Teams qualified||Qualifying start date||Qualifying next match date||Qualifying end date|
|AFC||4 or 5 +1||45+1||5||40||0+1||6 June 2019||5 September 2019||March 2022|
|CAF||5||54||0||54||0||October 2019||November 2021|
|CONCACAF||3 or 4||35||0||35||0||March 2020||March 2022|
|CONMEBOL||4 or 5||10||0||10||0||March 2020||March 2022|
|OFC||0 or 1||11||0||11||0||2019||March 2022|
|Total||31+1||210+1||5||205||0+1||6 June 2019||5 September 2019|
The opening two rounds of qualifying will also serve as qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. Therefore, Qatar, the 2022 FIFA World Cup host, will participate in these first two rounds of qualifying.
The qualification structure is as follows:
- First round: 12 teams (ranked 35–46) play home-and-away over two legs. The six winners advance to the second round.
- Second round: 40 teams (ranked 1–34 and six first round winners) are divided into eight groups of five teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The eight group winners and the four best group runners-up advance to the third round of FIFA World Cup qualification as well as qualifying for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup finals.
- Third round: To follow.
- Fourth round: To follow.
Current stage (first round)
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Macau||TBD[note 1]||Sri Lanka||1–0||Cancelled|
The CONMEBOL Council decided on 24 January 2019 to maintain the same qualification structure used for the previous six tournaments. The ten teams will play in a league of home-and-away round-robin matches. The top four teams qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the fifth-placed team advances to the inter-confederation play-offs.
The 2020–21 UEFA Nations League season has been partially linked with European qualifiers for the World Cup, similar to the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs, therefore the league can provide two teams a participation in the second round of qualification.
- First round (group stage): The 55 UEFA teams affiliated with FIFA at the time of the draw will be divided into ten groups (five groups of six teams and five groups of five teams) to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The winners of each group qualify for the World Cup, and the ten runners-up advance to the second round (play-offs).
- Second round (play-offs): A possible option is the ten runners-up from the first round being joined by two teams based on Nations League performance. The 12 teams will play one other team in the first stage, with the six winners entering the second stage. Both stages will be in two legs, home and away. The three second stage winners qualify for the World Cup.
There will be two inter-confederation playoffs to determine the final two qualification spots for the finals. They are scheduled to be played in March 2022.
The matchups will be decided at the preliminary draw to be held in July 2019.
There have been 32 goals scored in 11 matches, for an average of 2.91 goals per match (as of 11 June 2019). Players highlighted in bold are still active in the competition.
- "INTERNATIONAL MATCH CALENDAR 2018–2024" (PDF). FIFA. October 2018.
- "June kickoff for qualifiers to 2022 World Cup of 32 or 48 teams". The Malta Independent. Associated Press. 4 March 2019.
- "2022 World Cup: How qualifying works around the world". ESPN FC. ESPN. 25 May 2019.
- Palmer, Dan (31 July 2017). "Hosts Qatar to compete in qualifying for 2022 World Cup". insidethegames.biz. Dunsar Media Company. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
- Harding, David (6 September 2017). "World Cup failure puts Qatar back in spotlight". Yahoo Sports. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- "2022 World Cup odds: France favorite to repeat in Qatar; USA behind Mexico with 16th-best odds". CBSSports.com. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
- "2022 FIFA World Cup to be played in November/December". FIFA. 20 March 2015.
- "Current allocation of FIFA World Cup™ confederation slots maintained". FIFA. 30 May 2015.
- Palmer, Dan (31 July 2017). "Hosts Qatar to compete in qualifying for 2022 World Cup". insidethegames.biz. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
- "Pakistan to learn World Cup, Asian Cup qualifying fate on April 17". Dawn.com. 22 March 2019.
- "Asia's 2022 World Cup qualifiers drawn, features continent's lowest ranked national teams". India Today. 17 April 2019.
- "Football - Macau not sending team to Sri Lanka due to security concerns". Reuters. 8 June 2019.
- "AFC Statement". AFC. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
- "Clasificatorio sudamericano al Mundial de Qatar arrancará en marzo del 2020" (in Spanish). Conmebol.com. 24 January 2019.
- "UEFA Nations League format and schedule approved". UEFA.com. 4 December 2014.
- "UEFA plots 2022 World Cup qualifying path via Nations League". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 13 June 2019.