The final five spots in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will be decided by five different playoffs held around the world in 2022. And we’re about to find out a lot more about them during the Playoff Draw on Friday, November 26.

FIFA will conduct the draw in Zurich at 11 a.m. ET (5 p.m. CET – Central European Time) and it will determine the matchups that will assign the final three berths in Europe, as well as the two intercontinental playoff berths (details below). The draw will be streamed live on FIFA.com.

A total of 32 nations will participate in the 2022 FIFA World Cup that will be held in Qatar beginning in November 2022. Qatar automatically qualifies as host and the other 31 finalists will emerge from regional qualifying held around the globe.

MORE: Which teams have qualified to the 2022 World Cup?

There are 13 countries that have already booked their ticket to Qatar, and others will lock up spots during qualifying in January and February. Here’s how the 31 direct berths are split up around the world: 

  • Africa (CAF): 5
  • Asia (AFC): 4 (plus 1 playoff qualifier)
  • Europe (UEFA): 13 (including 3 playoff winners)
  • North/Central America & Caribbean (CONCACAF): 3 (plus 1 playoff qualifier)
  • Oceania (OFC): 1 playoff qualifier
  • South America (CONMEBOL): 4 (plus 1 playoff qualifier)

The four playoff qualifiers noted above from the Asia, South America, North America and Oceania continents will be drawn in two separate “intercontinental” playoff matches played in a neutral venue with a ticket to Qatar on the line.

Europe has its own playoffs involving 12 countries. They will be drawn into three final four brackets. The survivor of each bracket will head to Qatar.

MORE: Could Cristiano Ronaldo miss out on the World Cup?

World Cup European Playoffs (3 berths)

Friday’s draw will split the 12 European playoff teams into three different brackets. The 12 playoff teams (10 group runners-up and two Nations League group winners) are seeded: The six teams with the best qualifying record (points and goal difference) are allocated to Pot 1 and the other six will go into Pot 2.

Pot 1: Italy, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Wales

Pot 2:  Austria, Czech Republic, North Macedonia, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine

The teams in Pot 1 will host the semifinal in their respective bracket. The host of the final will be determined by a draw.

Bracket (Path) 1

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Thurs/Fri, March 24/25 Semifinal #1   TBD TBD
Thurs/Fri, March 24/25 Semifinal #2   TBD TBD
Mon/Tues, March 28/29 Final   TBD TBD

Bracket (Path) 2

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Thurs/Fri, March 24/25 Semifinal #1   TBD TBD
Thurs/Fri, March 24/25 Semifinal #2   TBD TBD
Mon/Tues, March 28/29 Final   TBD TBD

Bracket (Path) 3

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Thurs/Fri, March 24/25 Semifinal #1   TBD TBD
Thurs/Fri, March 24/25 Semifinal #2   TBD TBD
Mon/Tues, March 28/29 Final   TBD TBD

World Cup Intercontinental Playoffs (2 berths)

There are four national teams that will advance to the FIFA intercontinental playoffs

The Nov. 26 draw will determine which continents will face off in the two knockout matches in June 2022 that will complete the field of 32 World Cup teams. In the past these were held over two legs, but due to schedule congestion caused by the COVID-19 pandemic they will be single-game playoffs at a neutral venue.

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Mon, June 13 Playoff Match #1   TBD TBD
Tues, June 14 Playoff Match #2   TBD TBD

When does the FIFA World Cup start?

  • Inaugural matches: Monday, Nov. 21, 2022
  • World Cup final: Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will kick off on a Monday with four matches in Qatar.

The World Cup final will still be held on a Sunday, as per tradition. The trophy will be hoisted by the winner on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022.

Which teams have qualified for the World Cup?

A total of 13 teams have officially qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including the host nation. That leaves 19 spots to be filled in the upcoming months.

In addition to host nation Qatar, there have been 10 nations from Europe to qualify for the tournament. Brazil was the first to earn a berth from South America with five qualifying matches left and it was joined by Argentina.





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