The qualifying draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup has taken place in Zurich, Switzerland. It will see 55 European nations all begin their road to Qatar.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifying Draw: England Face Poland, Wales to Play Belgium
Qualification for the FIFA World Cup 2022 will commence in March 2021. The qualifying will run through to November 2021 in a shorter international format than normal.
The highlights from the draw ceremony include Gareth Southgate’s England grouped with Poland. It is a match that promises an intriguing battle between the striking hot shots Harry Kane and Robert Lewandoski.
Wales, meanwhile, will have to negotiate a tricky group which includes the number one ranked team in the world Belgium.
Scotland, with Steve Clarke in charge, will be buoyed by their qualification for next year’s European Championship. The Tartan Army’s biggest challenge will Christian Eriksen and Denmark.
The Republic of Ireland, however, have one of the toughest draws. Stephen Kelly’s side will be lining up against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in their respective group.
Italy will prove a stern test for Ian Baraclough’s Northern Ireland in their quest to qualify for Qatar next year.
World Cup Qualification: European Contenders
Away from the British contenders, Spain were paired with Sweden in Group A. In addition, current World Cup Champions France entered Group D, which also includes Ukraine.
Moreover, The Netherlands were drawn in Group G with the youthful Norway side led by Erling Braut Haaland. Meanwhile, Germany will join Romania in Group J.
World Cup Draw in Full
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, 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.
The ten winners from each respective group will automatically qualify for the FIFA World Cup. In addition, the ten runner-ups will enter the play-off rounds in March 2022. This will be along with two Nations League competitors who topped their group in that campaign and who finished outside the top two in this qualification campaign. After that, the 12 nations will then compete in three separate mini-leagues with semi-finals and final berths. Therefore, three nations will secure their ticket to Qatar.
Landmark World Cup for Qatar
The 22nd edition of the World Cup finals itself will take place in Qatar from November 21 until December 18.
As a result, it will be a landmark occasion being a first winter World Cup and the first staged in the Arab community.
There will be eight venues in five host cities, with supporters able to see multiple games in a day due to the proximity of the stadia.
A reduced competition means that there will be only 28 days between the first matches of the World Cup and the showpiece final.
All in all, 32 teams, 13 from Europe, will all be chasing glory to lift the famous gold trophy.
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