FIFA World Cup™ European play-off draw to take place on 26 November

Jump to
21 Oct 2021
  • The draw for the European play-offs for Qatar 2022 will unfold on 26 November

  • Twelve teams will compete for three World Cup tickets

  • They will join the ten first-round group winners in representing Europe

The draw to determine the final European encounters in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ preliminary competition will be held in Zurich, Switzerland on Friday, 26 November 2021 at 17:00 CET. The European play-offs will feature 12 teams, including the ten group runners-up from the first stage of qualifying. The remaining two spots will be taken by the best two 2020/21 UEFA Nations League group winners who did not finish in the top two in the first round of the Qatar 2022 preliminaries. The nations will then be split into three four-team paths, with semi-finals and a final ensuing in each. The three triumphant sides will join the ten group winners from the first round in representing Europe at the 22nd World Cup. Denmark and Germany secured their tickets to Qatar with two games to spare, and the remaining group winners will be determined between 11 and 16 November. The draw procedures, which were approved by the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions in May 2021, are available here. The draw will be streamed live on FIFA.com, excluding in territories where it will be broadcast live on TV.

Thrilling history

Although under a new format this time, the European play-offs, which were previously two-legged ties for a place at the World Cup, have thrown up no shortage of excitement. Seven Predrag Mijatovic goals inspired Yugoslavia to a 12-1 aggregate victory over Hungary and a place at France 1998, while Germany and Turkey both came through the play-offs for Korea/Japan 2002 and went on to finish second and third respectively at the finals. France reversed a 2-0 first-leg defeat to edge Ukraine for a place at Brazil 2014, while Cristiano Ronaldo won an unforgettable shoot-out with Zlatan Ibrahimovic to secure qualification for Portugal. Sweden made up for their play-off disappointment four years later, condemning Italy to miss a World Cup for the first time since 1958, while Croatia downed Greece and went all the way to the Russia 2018 final.