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Full draw and fixture schedule with Italy and Portugal in same set as Wales face Austria and Scotland play Ukraine for chance to be in Qatar


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The race to Qatar is alive and kicking as countries from all over the world look to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

Usually a summer event, it has been rearranged to December, with nations still looking to earn a spot in the 32-team tournament.

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The World Cup will take place in the winter in the Northern Hemisphere for the first time ever

As it stands, 15 teams have confirmed their spot in the showpiece event with hosts Qatar joining Brazil, Argentina and 10 countries from around Europe which include France, Germany, Spain and Gareth Southgate’s England.

In addition to that, 12 teams from Europe will also compete for three spots in the World Cup via the play-offs.

But one of those fixtures has already been decided after FIFA announced that Russia will be banned from playing their game against Poland following the countries invasion of Ukraine.

Poland, who were due to play Russia in Moscow next month, have been granted a bye to the final where they will face either Czech Republic or Sweden.

Here’s everything else that you need to know about the play-offs.

World Cup 2022 play-offs: How does it work?

The play-offs will see Europe’s 10 qualifying group runners-up joined by the two best group winners from the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League who have not already qualified for the World Cup or fall into the 10 group runners-up.

The-now 11 teams have been drawn into three play-off paths for a one-off semi-final and a final.

The three winners from each path with qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal will have to overcome the play-offs if they’re to reach the World Cup

Getty

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal will have to overcome the play-offs if they’re to reach the World Cup

World Cup 2022 play-offs: Fixture schedule

The World Cup play-offs will take place this month during the international break in the domestic season.

Each of the 12 teams will play a one-off semi-final clash on Thursday, March 24 with the six winners competing against the other team from their path in the play-off final on Tuesday, March 29.

The winner of each final will qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.

Play-off semi-finals: Thursday March 24 2022

Play-off finals: Tuesday March 29 2022

Scotland are absolutely flying and have sealed their spot at the play-offs next March

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Scotland are absolutely flying and have sealed their spot at the play-offs next March

World Cup 2022 play-offs: Draw

Path A

Scotland vs Ukraine

Wales vs Austria – (winner of this clash will be the home team in the final)

Path B

Poland – (Will be the home team in the final)

Sweden vs Czech Republic

Path C

Italy vs North Macedonia

Portugal vs Turkey – (winner of this clash will be the home team in the final)

Final A

Wales/Austria vs Scotland/Ukraine

Final B

Poland vs Sweden/Czech Republic

Final C

Portugal/Turkey vs Italy vs North Macedonia



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