What’s next on our sports radar?
I’ll give you a hint. The universally played sport holds a quadrennial competition, much like the Olympics.
Yes, it is the soccer tournament we all wait patiently for every four years – the FIFA World Cup.
Thirty-two teams will be competing in the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup, which will take place in Qatar. The competition will begin on Nov. 21 and run until Dec. 18, taking place at eight different venues.
But before we can enter the Cup, qualified teams must take part in the World Cup draw. The draw is when teams learn their fate for the upcoming tournament. Qualifiers are separated into four pots and during the draw, the teams from each pot find out what groups they are in.
Here’s everything you need to know about one of the most important components leading up to the tournament - the World Cup draw:
When is the 2022 World Cup draw?
The 2022 World Cup draw will take place on Friday, April 1 at 12 p.m. ET. Friday’s ceremony will occur at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in the West Bay business district in Qatar’s capital, Doha.
Where can I watch the 2022 World Cup draw?
The event will be broadcast live on fifa.com, and coverage will unfold on theguardian.com/sport. You can also watch the draw live on FS1, FOXSports.com or the FOX Sports App.
How does the World Cup draw work?
The 32 qualifying teams will be sorted into eight groups of four teams that will compete against each other round-robin style. The top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout stage: the round of 16, followed by quarterfinals, semifinals, third-place match and finals.
In order for all this to happen, the World Cup draw must first take place. The draw basically sets up the tournament by deciding which teams go into which groups.
First, the teams will be separated into four pots based on where they rank in the FIFA Men’s World Ranking.
Since Qatar is the host nation, they will receive position A1 in Pot 1. Here they will be accompanied by the seven highest-ranking teams that qualified. The eight teams in Pot 1 will each be assigned to different groups.
Each of the eight teams from Pot 2 will be randomly assigned to one of the eight groups, followed by the teams from Pot 3 and then the teams from Pot 4, unless there are too many teams in a group from the same qualifying zone (see below).
Pot 2 will consist of the qualified teams that are ranked eight to 15, Pot 3 will include teams ranked 16 to 23, and Pot 4 will include teams ranked 24 to 28.
Three additional teams will fill the last of the 32 spots. These teams will consist of the two winners of the intercontinental playoffs, as well as the remaining UEFA playoff winner, both which are played in June.
What are some rules of the World Cup draw?
With the exception of Europe, which qualifies 13 teams, FIFA tries not to have any two teams from the same qualifying zones end up in the same group. Each group will have either one or two teams from Europe.
This year in particular, Russia was removed from the qualification process over the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Who has qualified for the 2022 World Cup draw?
So far, 29 out of 32 slots have been filled for the 2022 World Cup. The qualifiers include:
- Host: Qatar
- Africa: Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia
- Asia: Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea
- North, Central America and Caribbean: Canada, Mexico, USA
- Europe: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland
- South America: Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Uruguay
Which teams will be in each pot?
- Pot 1: Qatar (host nation), Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Portugal, Spain
- Pot 2: USA, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Uruguay, Mexico
- Pot 3: Senegal, Japan, Iran, Serbia, Morocco, South Korea, Poland, Tunisia
- Pot 4: Canada, Cameroon, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Ghana
Who can still qualify?
To reach the 32 total teams in the World Cup, Pot 4 will also eventually consist of winners from the intercontinental playoffs and the remaining UEFA playoff winner.
The teams in competition are Peru/Australia/UAE, Costa Rica/New Zealand and Wales/Scotland/Ukraine. The games will be played in June.
Who has not qualified?
Shockingly, Italy will not be playing in this year’s World Cup. The four-time World Cup winning nation was eliminated from European qualifying after a loss to North Macedonia on March 24.
Other major countries that did not qualify include Egypt, Algeria, Colombia and Norway.