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2022 World Cup qualifying draw

The European Qualifiers draw was made on 7 December in Zurich.

The World Cup Trophy on display in Zurich during UEFA's World Cup qualifying draw
The World Cup Trophy on display in Zurich during UEFA's World Cup qualifying draw FIFA

The European Qualifiers draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was made at 18:00 CET on 7 December in Zurich.

Full draw

Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan

Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo

Group C: Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania

Group D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan

Group E: Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia

Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands, Moldova

Group G: Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, Latvia, Gibraltar

Group H: Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta

Group I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino

Group J: Germany, Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein

All the fixtures

What were the draw seedings?

The seedings were based on the FIFA World Ranking announced on 26 November. The top-ten ranked teams were in Pot 1, the next ten in Pot 2 and so on, with the last five allocated to Pot 6.

Pot 1: Belgium, France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands

Pot 2: Switzerland, Wales, Poland, Sweden, Austria, Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, Slovakia, Romania

Pot 3: Russia, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, Norway, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Greece, Finland

Pot 4: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Belarus, Georgia, Luxembourg

Pot 5: Armenia, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra

Pot 6: Malta, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, San Marino

How did the draw work?

Teams were split into ten groups of five or six – the four teams who reached the 2021 UEFA Nations League finals (Belgium, France, Italy, Spain) were guaranteed to be in the smaller groups. The ten group winners qualify for the World Cup.

The teams drawn were allocated to a group in alphabetical order, from Group A to Group J (i.e. the first team drawn from each pot was allocated to Group A, the second team to Group B and so forth). When a draw constraint applied or was anticipated to apply, the team drawn was allotted to the first available group in alphabetical order as indicated by the draw constraint programme.

Based on UEFA Executive Committee decisions valid at the time of the draw, the following pairs of teams could not be in the same group:

Armenia & Azerbaijan
Gibraltar & Spain
Kosovo & Bosnia and Herzegovina
Kosovo & Russia
Kosovo & Serbia
Ukraine & Russia

Ten countries were defined as venues with a risk of severe winter conditions and a maximum of two such countries could be drawn in the same group:

Faroe Islands*

*Iceland and the Faroe Islands were identified as venues with the highest risk of severe winter conditions. Given that the March window will include three matchdays, and to limit the disruption to the group-match scheduling, they could not be drawn into the same group.

Twenty country pairs were identified as involving excessive travel. In order to minimise teams' travel burdens, a maximum of one such pair could be drawn in the same group:

Azerbaijan with Iceland, Gibraltar, Portugal

Kazakhstan with Andorra, England, Faroe Islands, France, Gibraltar, Iceland, Malta, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Wales

Iceland with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan

  • In all the above cases, if a team was or could have been drawn into a group to which they could not be placed due to the specific restrictions, they were placed in the first available group in alphabetical order as indicated by the draw constraint programme.

Who goes through?

  • The ten group winners qualify for the finals in Qatar from 21 November to 18 December 2022.
  • The ten group runners-up will go into the play-offs in March 2022, joined by the two best group winners of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League that have neither qualified directly for the final tournament as European Qualifiers group winners, nor entered the play-offs already as European Qualifiers group runners-up. The 12 teams will be drawn into three play-off paths for one-off semi-finals and a final. The three path winners qualify for the World Cup.

When do the European Qualifiers take place?

Matchday 1: 24–25 March 2021
Matchday 2: 27–28 March 2021
Matchday 3: 30–31 March 2021
Matchday 4: 1–2 September 2021
Matchday 5: 4–5 September 2021
Matchday 6: 7–8 September 2021
Matchday 7: 8–9 October 2021
Matchday 8: 11–12 October 2021
Matchday 9: 11–13 November 2021
Matchday 10: 14–16 November 2021
Play-offs: 24, 25, 28, 29 March 2022

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