Update on FIFA Club World Cup and OFC preliminary competition for Qatar 2022
Dates confirmed for FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021™
Format and dates of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ OFC preliminary competition confirmed
The Bureau of the FIFA Council and the Bureau for the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers have taken a series of decisions concerning upcoming competitions. The dates for the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021 presented by Alibaba Cloud have been set from 3 to 12 February 2022. The draw, taking place on Monday, 29 November in Zurich, will decide the eight matches to be played in total between the representatives of each confederation and the host country, UAE.
The format, dates and draw procedures for the OFC preliminary competition for the FIFA World Cup 2022 have also been confirmed. Nine teams will participate, following the withdrawal of American Samoa and Samoa. The OFC qualifiers will be played in a mini-tournament format featuring eight teams and consisting of a round-robin group stage, semi-finals and the final. A single qualification match will be played between the two lowest-ranked OFC member associations (those ranked eighth and ninth based on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking) for the right to take part in the preliminary competition mini-tournament. All matches will take place in the central location of Qatar in March 2022. As the OFC has 0.5 slots for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, these qualifiers will determine the OFC representative that will play in the FIFA intercontinental play-off matches in June 2022. Based on this format, the drawing of lots is required for the group stage of the mini-tournament to determine the paths of the eight participating teams by allocating them to two groups. The procedures for the draw, due to take place on 29 November 2021, are available here.
Oceania has not been able to hold national-team competitions since late 2019 due to the impact of COVID-19. Due to lingering travel and quarantine restrictions, March 2022 presents the first – and indeed last – opportunity for the preliminary competition to take place. The competition will run from 14 March to 30 March 2022 to ensure a minimum of two rest days between games as well as before the first game following long-distance travel. Therefore, the Bureau of the Council has decided to add a day to the existing International Match Calendar window for the OFC, thus including the final three games of the mini-tournament, making it 21 March to 30 March 2022.