|Dates||6 June 2019 – 7 June 2022|
|Teams||46[note 1] (from 1 confederation)|
|Goals scored||676 (2.95 per match)|
|Attendance||2,332,162 (10,184 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Ali Mabkhout|
|AFC Asian Qualifiers|
The Asian section of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification[note 2] acted as qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar for national teams who are members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Apart from Qatar (who qualified automatically as hosts), a total of 4.5 slots (4 direct slots and 1 inter-confederation play-off slot) in the final tournament were available for AFC teams.
The qualification process involved four rounds; the first two doubled as the qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. Despite qualifying as hosts, Qatar participated in these rounds to seek Asian Cup qualification. The first round would have acted as qualifiers for the cancelled 2020 AFC Solidarity Cup.
The qualification structure is as follows:
- First round: 12 teams (ranked 35–46) played home-and-away over two legs. The six winners advanced to the second round.
- Second round: 40 teams (ranked 1–34 and six first-round winners) were 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 advanced to the third round. Since Qatar won their group, the fifth-best runners-up took their place in the third round.
- Third round: 12 teams which advanced from the second round were divided into two groups of six teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The top two teams of each group qualified for the World Cup, and the third-placed teams advanced to the fourth round.
- Fourth round: Two third-placed teams from the third round played a single match. The winner advanced to the inter-confederation play-offs.
All 46 FIFA-affiliated nations from the AFC entered qualification. The FIFA World Rankings of April 2019 were used to determine which nations would compete in the first round. For seeding in the second round and third round draws, the most recent FIFA Rankings prior to those draws will be used.
According to the joint format of the World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers, both Qatar (as the host nation of the 2022 World Cup) and China (as the host nation of the 2023 Asian Cup) also entered the second round of the qualifiers.
Timor-Leste was banned from participating in the Asian Cup qualification after being found to have fielded a total of 12 ineligible players in 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification matches among other competitions. However, as FIFA did not ban them from the World Cup qualifiers, Timor-Leste was allowed to enter the competition, but ineligible to qualify for the Asian Cup.
|Bye to the second round
(Ranked 1st to 34th)
|Competing in first round|
(Ranked 35th to 46th)
On 9 March 2020, FIFA and AFC announced that the second round matches on matchdays 7–10 due to take place in March and June 2020 were postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the new dates to be confirmed. However, subject to approval by FIFA and AFC, and agreement of both member associations, the matches may be played as scheduled provided that the safety of all individuals involved meets the required standards. On 5 June, AFC confirmed that matchdays 7 and 8 were scheduled to take place on 8 and 13 October respectively while matchdays 9 and 10 were also scheduled to kick off on 12 and 17 November. On 12 August, FIFA announced that the matches scheduled for October and November 2020 would be rescheduled to 2021.
On 11 November 2020, the AFC Competitions Committee announced that all the Asian qualifiers second round matches should be completed by 15 June 2021 with matchdays 7 and 8 in March 2021 and matchdays 9 and 10 in June 2021 with the final round of the Asian qualifiers beginning in September 2021. Also all 10 matchdays of the Asian qualifiers final round should be finished by the end of March 2022 with the Asian and inter-continental play-offs proposed for the FIFA window of May/June 2022. The Asian play-off for the World Cup in Qatar was proposed as a single match. On the same day, however, FIFA, along with the Bangladeshi and Qatari associations, gave approval to the only second round match originally scheduled for 2020, Qatar v. Bangladesh, which was played on 4 December.
On 19 February 2021, FIFA and AFC postponed the majority of the upcoming matches to June.
|Second round||Matchday 7||26 March 2020, later 8 October|
|Matchday 8||31 March 2020, later 13 October|
|Matchday 9||4 June 2020, later 12 November, then 7 June 2021|
|Matchday 10||9 June 2020, later 17 November|
|Third round||Matchday 1||3 September 2020|
|Matchday 2||8 September 2020|
|Matchday 3||13 October 2020|
|Matchday 4||12 November 2020|
|Matchday 5||17 November 2020|
|Matchday 6||25 March 2021|
|Matchday 7||30 March 2021|
|Matchday 8||8 June 2021|
|Matchday 9||7 September 2021|
|Matchday 10||12 October 2021|
|Fourth round||First leg||11 November 2021|
|Second leg||16 November 2021|
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Macau||1–3||Sri Lanka||1–0||0–3 (awd.)[note 3]|
|1||Syria||8||7||0||1||22||7||+15||21||Third round and Asian Cup||—||2–1||1–0||2–1||4–0|
|3||Philippines||8||3||2||3||12||11||+1||11||Asian Cup qualifying third round||2–5||0–0||—||1–1||3–0|
|5||Guam||8||0||0||8||2||32||−30||0||Asian Cup qualifying play-off round||0–3||0–7||1–4||0–1||—|
- China qualified for the Asian Cup as the host nation. They withdrew their hosting right in May 2022.
|1||Australia||8||8||0||0||28||2||+26||24||Third round and Asian Cup||—||3–0||1–0||5–0||5–1|
|2||Kuwait||8||4||2||2||19||7||+12||14||Asian Cup qualifying third round||0–3||—||0–0||7–0||9–0|
|5||Chinese Taipei||8||0||0||8||4||34||−30||0||Asian Cup qualifying play-off round||1–7||1–2||1–2||0–2||—|
|1||Iran||8||6||0||2||34||4||+30||18||Third round and Asian Cup||—||1–0||3–0||3–1||14–0|
|3||Bahrain||8||4||3||1||15||4||+11||15||Asian Cup qualifying third round||1–0||1–1||—||4–0||8–0|
|5||Cambodia||8||0||1||7||2||44||−42||1||Asian Cup qualifying play-off round||0–10||0–4||0–1||1–1||—|
|1||Saudi Arabia||8||6||2||0||22||4||+18||20||Third round and Asian Cup||—||3–0||5–0||3–0||3–0|
|2||Uzbekistan||8||5||0||3||18||9||+9||15||Asian Cup qualifying third round||2–3||—||2–0||5–0||5–0|
|2||Oman||8||6||0||2||16||6||+10||18||Third round and Asian Cup||0–1||—||1–0||3–0||4–1|
|3||India||8||1||4||3||6||7||−1||7||Asian Cup qualifying third round||0–1||1–2||—||1–1||1–1|
- Qatar already qualified for the World Cup as the host nation.
|1||Japan||8||8||0||0||46||2||+44||24||Third round and Asian Cup||—||4–1||5–1||6–0||10–0|
|2||Tajikistan||8||4||1||3||14||12||+2||13||Asian Cup qualifying third round||0–3||—||1–0||3–0||4–0|
|1||United Arab Emirates||8||6||0||2||23||7||+16||18||Third round and Asian Cup||—||3–2||4–0||3–1||5–0|
|3||Malaysia||8||4||0||4||10||12||−2||12||Asian Cup qualifying third round||1–2||1–2||—||2–1||2–0|
|5||Indonesia||8||0||1||7||5||27||−22||1||Asian Cup qualifying play-off round||0–5||1–3||2–3||0–3||—|
|1||South Korea||6||5||1||0||22||1||+21||16||Third round and Asian Cup||—||2–1||5–0||8–0|
|3||Turkmenistan||6||3||0||3||8||11||−3||9||Asian Cup qualifying third round||0–2||3–2||—||2–0|
Ranking of runner-up teams
Since North Korea withdrew from Group H, results against the fifth-placed teams of each group were not counted in determining the ranking of the runner-up teams.
|2||E||Oman||6||4||0||2||9||5||+4||12||Third round and Asian Cup|
|6||F||Tajikistan||6||3||1||2||7||8||−1||10||Asian Cup qualifying third round|
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
- China already qualified for the Asian Cup as host nation. They withdrew their hosting right in May 2022.
The third round consisted of two groups of six teams. The first two teams in each group qualified for the World Cup. The two third-placed teams proceeded to the fourth round. The draw was held on 1 July 2021 in Malaysia.
|1||Iran||10||8||1||1||15||4||+11||25||Qualification for 2022 FIFA World Cup||—||1–1||1–0||1–0||1–0||2–0|
|3||United Arab Emirates||10||3||3||4||7||7||0||12||Advance to fourth round||0–1||1–0||—||2–2||2–0||0–0|
|1||Saudi Arabia||10||7||2||1||12||6||+6||23||Qualification for 2022 FIFA World Cup||—||1–0||1–0||1–0||3–2||3–1|
|3||Australia||10||4||3||3||15||9||+6||15||Advance to fourth round||0–0||0–2||—||3–1||3–0||4–0|
The two third-placed teams in each group from the third round played against each other in a single match to determine which team advanced to the inter-confederation play-offs.
The match was played in Doha, Qatar on 7 June 2022.
|Team 1||Score||Team 2|
|United Arab Emirates||1–2||Australia|
The inter-confederation play-off was determined by a draw held on 26 November 2021. The AFC fourth round winners was drawn against the fifth-placed team from CONMEBOL. The play-off was played as a single match in Qatar on 13 June 2022.
|Team 1||Score||Team 2|
|Australia||0–0 (a.e.t.) (5–4 p)||Peru|
The following six teams from AFC qualified for the final tournament.
|Team||Qualified as||Qualified on||Previous appearances in FIFA World Cup1|
|Qatar||Hosts||2 December 2010||0 (debut)|
|Iran||Third round group A winners||27 January 2022||5 (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014, 2018)|
|South Korea||Third round group A runners-up||1 February 2022||10 (1954, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018)|
|Japan||Third round group B runners-up||24 March 2022||6 (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018)|
|Saudi Arabia||Third round group B winners||24 March 2022||5 (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2018)|
|Australia||AFC v CONMEBOL play-off winners||13 June 2022||5 (19742, 20062, 2010, 2014, 2018)|
- 1 Italic indicates hosts for that year.
- 2 Australia qualified as a member of the OFC in 1974 and 2006 (qualifying took place until 2005 and they left the OFC and joined the AFC in 2006).
There were 676 goals scored in 229 matches, for an average of 2.95 goals per match.
Below are full goalscorer lists for each round:
- North Korea withdrew after five matches. Qatar participated to reach the Asian Cup.
- Also the "AFC Asian qualifiers Road to Qatar".
- The match was awarded as a 3–0 victory to Sri Lanka, after Macau did not send their team for the match due to safety reasons following the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings.
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