FIFA World Cup Play-Offs: What Happens Next?
International
17 November 2021

FIFA World Cup Play-Offs: What Happens Next?

Cymru’s point against Group E winners Belgium saw Rob Page’s team clinch second spot in their FIFA World Cup qualifying group and secure a seeded position for the draw on 26 November 2021. 

Here’s our guide as to what happens next and how the Play-Offs for the 2022 FIFA World Cup will work. 

 

WHO HAS QUALIFIED? 

The following teams have qualified directly for the World Cup via the European Qualifiers.

Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain & Switzerland. 

WHO ARE IN THE PLAY-OFFS?

Austria (via UEFA Nations League), Czech Republic (via UEFA Nations League), Cymru, Italy, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine.

WHEN IS THE PLAY-OFF DRAW?

The Play-Off draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place in Zurich, Switzerland on Friday, 26 November at 4.00pm. 

THE DRAW POTS

Seeded teams are placed in Pot 1 and will be drawn against teams from Pot 2. As Cymru were one of the six best-ranked runners-up from the group stage of European qualifying they are placed in Pot 1 and will play their semi-final at home.  

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

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

HOW DOES THE DRAW WORK? 

UEFA.com states the following: 

The draw will start 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 will occupy the home position in semi-final 1, the second team drawn in semi-final 2 and so on until the pot is emptied. 

The draw will then proceed to allocate teams from Pot 2 to semi-final pairings one by one. The first team drawn from Pot 2 will occupy the away position in semi-final 1, the second team drawn in semi-final 2 and so on until all semi-final pairings are 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 will play at home in the final, an additional draw will be held for each path.

DRAW CONSTRAINTS 

Due to the ‘prohibited team clash’ rule, Ukraine and Russia cannot be drawn together. 

PLAY-OFF MATCH DATES

Play-Off Semi-Finals: Thursday, 24 March 2022 

Play-Off Finals: Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Kick off times will be confirmed by UEFA following the draw. 

WHEN IS THE WORLD CUP?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is being hosted in Qatar and will take place between 21 November and 18 December 2022. The draw for the finals is to be held in April 2022.