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2022 World Cup play-off draw

The European FIFA World Cup play-off draw was held on 26 November 2021.

The draw to determine the final European encounters in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 preliminary competition was held in Zurich, Switzerland, on Friday 26 November 2021.

Draw in full

Semi-finals – Thursday 24 March 2022

Path A

Scotland vs Ukraine (20:45 CET)
Wales vs Austria (20:45 CET)

Path B

Russia vs Poland (18:00 CET)
Sweden vs Czech Republic (20:45 CET)

Path C

Italy vs North Macedonia (20:45 CET)
Portugal vs Turkey (20:45 CET)

Finals – Tuesday 29 March 2022

Path A 

Wales / Austria vs Scotland / Ukraine (20:45 CET)

Path B

Russia / Poland vs Sweden / Czech Republic (20:45 CET)

Path C

Portugal / Turkey vs Italy / North Macedonia (20:45 CET)

How the draw worked

The six best-ranked runners-up from the group stage of European qualifying were allocated to Pot 1 and play their play-off semi-final at home. The remaining six teams were allocated to Pot 2.

Who was allocated to which pot?

Pot 1: Italy, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Wales
Pot 2: Austria, Czech Republic, North Macedonia, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine

To determine the six best runners-up allocated to Pot 1, firstly the results of the group runners-up against the teams in sixth place (for groups with six teams) were discarded and then the following criteria applied in the order given:
a. higher number of points
b. superior goal difference
c. higher number of goals scored
d. higher number of away goals scored
e. higher number of wins
f. higher number of away wins
g. lower disciplinary points total based only on yellow and red cards received by players and team officials (red card = three points, yellow card = one point, sending-off for two yellow cards in one match = three points)
h. access list for the UEFA Nations League 2020/21 (see Annex C of the 20/21 regulations)

The draw started by allocating the six best-ranked teams, i.e. the teams from Pot 1, to semi-finals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively as a home team.

The first team drawn occupied the home position in semi-final 1, the second team drawn in semi-final 2 and so on until the pot was emptied.

The draw then proceeded to allocate teams from Pot 2 to semi-final pairings one by one. The first team drawn from Pot 2 occupied the away position in semi-final 1, the second team drawn in semi-final 2 and so on until all semi-final pairings were determined.

Semi-finals 1 and 2 belong to the Play-off Path A, semi-finals 3 and 4 form Path B and semi-finals 5 and 6 constitute Path C. To determine which semi-final winner played at home in the final, an additional draw was held for each path.

Did any constraints apply?

The "prohibited team clash" rule meant that Ukraine and Russia could not be drawn together.

When is the 2022 World Cup?

The 22nd finals in Qatar will be the first World Cup not held in May, June or July; the tournament is instead scheduled for a reduced timeframe between 21 November and 18 December. The final draw is expected to be held in April 2022.

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