World Cup 2022 Qatar draw: When is it? Who's qualified? How does it work? What happens to Russia and Ukraine?
The draw for the 2022 Qatar World Cup is set to take place in April, with 32 teams competing at the tournament, which will be played outside of a European summer for the first time. The World Cup will run from November 21 to December 18 and the Premier League season will be on hold during that time. We look at everything you need to know about the draw for Qatar.
Each four-team group can only have one nation from each of the qualifying regions, aside from Europe, which can have no more than two nations in any one group.
France are the defending champions after beating Croatia in the 2018 final.
Who has qualified?
When the draw takes place there will be 29 teams assured of their spots at the tournament and three more will be decided via play-offs after the draw.
Hosts Qatar qualify automatically and will be joined by 13 teams from Europe.
There are five guaranteed places for teams from Africa, four from each of South America and Asia, and three from CONCACAF. There are also two places given to the winners of inter-confederation play-offs in June that will feature a team from each of South America, Asia, CONCACAF and Oceania.
The teams who have already qualified are:
Germany (UEFA Group J winners)
Denmark (UEFA Group F winners)
Brazil (CONMEBOL top four)
Serbia (UEFA Group A winners)
Spain (UEFA Group B winners)
France (UEFA Group D winners)
Belgium (UEFA Group E winners)
Netherlands (UEFA Group G winners)
Croatia (UEFA Group H winners)
Switzerland (UEFA Group C winners)
England (UEFA Group I winners)
Poland (UEFA play-off winners)
Portugal (UEFA play-off winners)
Argentina (CONMEBOL top four)
Ecuador (CONMEBOL top four)
Uruguay (CONMEBOL top four)
Canada (CONCACAF top three)
Senegal (Africa play-off winners)
Ghana (Africa play-off winners)
Morocco (Africa play-off winners)
Tunisia (Africa play-off winners)
Cameroon (Africa play-off winners)
Iran (AFC Group A top two)
South Korea (AFC Group A top two)
Saudi Arabia (AFC Group B top two)
Japan (AFC Group B top two)
There will be one more to follow from the final European play-off, with Wales facing the winner of Scotland v Ukraine, which has been postponed until June due to Russia's invasion. Italy missed out on a place at the World Cup after losing to North Macedonia in the play-offs.
Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay have qualified from South America (CONMEBOL), with Peru going to the inter-confederation play-offs ahead of the final round of matches.
In Africa, Senegal beat Egypt on penalties to book their place at the World Cup and Ghana also secured their spot at the expense of Nigeria. Morocco, Cameroon and Tunisia have also qualified.
Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Japan have qualified from Asia. The two third-placed teams from the Asia qualifying groups, United Arab Emirates and Australia, face each other in a single match to determine which team advances to the inter-confederation play-offs in June.
Canada have qualified from CONCACAF and United States and Mexico currently occupy the other two automatic qualifying spots. Panama are in fourth spot in the table which qualifies for the inter-confederation play-offs.
When is the 2022 World Cup?
The World Cup will run from November 21 to December 18.
It has been scheduled in those months because of the intense heat in Qatar in the summer, which would make playing conditions difficult. It will be the first World Cup not to be held in May, June, or July.
England's midfielder Jack Grealish (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goalduring the World Cup 2022 qualifier football match between Andorra and England at Estadi Nacional stadium in Andorra la Vella, on October 9, 2021
Image credit: Getty Images
The group stage will run from November 21 to December 2, with the final on December 18. The first two rounds of matches will kick-off at 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm UK time.
Group stage: November 21 - December 2
Round of 16: December 3-6
Quarter-finals: December 9/10
Semi-finals: December 13/14
Final: December 18
What about the Premier League?
The Premier League will be on hold while the World Cup takes place.
The season is set to start a week earlier than usual on August 6 and the final round of matches will be on May 28, 2023, a week later than this year.
The last round of matches will take place on November 12/13 before players head off to Qatar, giving them around a week with their international teams to prepare for the World Cup.
The Premier League will then resume on December 26.
Why is there controversy around Qatar?
The awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar has been criticised for several reasons.
Amnesty International has expressed concerns about working conditions and human rights in the country, and last year documented the Qatari authorities' failure to investigate the deaths of thousands of migrant workers.
There have also been worries raised over Qatar’s treatment of the LGBT+ community. Adelaide United’s Josh Cavallo, who is the only openly gay footballer at a top-flight club, said he would be “fearful” of playing at the tournament due to the strict penalties and punishments for homosexuality.
Qatar’s initial bid to win the tournament has also been under scrutiny.
There have been allegations of bribery between the bid committee and FIFA members, while disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in 2014 it was a “mistake” to award Qatar the tournament.