Thrills for Italy and Portugal

Italy and Portugal battling for a place in Qatar? The two European behemoths are holding their breath before the draw for the 2022 World Cup play-offs scheduled for this Friday at 5:00 p.m. How will these dams work? We give you the manual.

Thrill guaranteed in Zurich, where FIFA will proceed both to the draw for the European play-offs, scheduled for the end of March, but also, in the wake, to the draw for the intercontinental play-offs which will issue the last two tickets to reach the bar of 32 qualified countries, in next june.

For Europe, ten places have already found takers but three tickets remain to be filled among the twelve late selections who have failed to finish at the top of their qualifying group. And Italy and Portugal, the last two European champions, are part of it, which promises unusually high oppositions for this catch-up session.

To see Qatar (November 21-December 18, 2022), the play-offs will have to win in the spring (March 24 and 29) one of three mini-tournaments with four played in dry matches, with semi-finals then final, a perilous format that prohibits the slightest defeat.

Dam teams

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

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

These are the ten runners-up in the group, plus two selections chosen on the basis of their ranking in the last League of Nations (Austria and Czech Republic).

Dams formula

The twelve play-offs are divided into three mini-tournaments of four teams, with semi-finals and final in a dry match. The winners of each “way“(A, B, or C, in UEFA jargon) will qualify for the World Cup.

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Each semi-final opposes a team from the first hat to one from the second. It takes place on the field of the first hat team.

An additional draw will be organized to determine which team will play the final at home.

Russia and Ukraine cannot find themselves on the same path, for geopolitical reasons.

Date of the dams

Semi-finals: Thursday March 24

Finals: Tuesday March 29

Qualified teams

Two places for the World Cup are to be filled via the intercontinental dams.

The four qualified teams are:

  • 5th in the single group of playoffs in the South America zone (Conmebol)
  • 4th in the single group of the qualifiers for the North America / Central America zone (Concacaf)
  • the winner of a jump-off between the third teams of the two hens of the qualifiers in the Asia zone (AFC)
  • the winner of the Oceania zone qualifiers (OFC)

The teams have not yet been determined.


Each jump-off is played in a dry match and on neutral ground. Each winner will qualify for the World Cup.

Date of the dams

June 13 and 14

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