The first round of the qualifiers gets underway starting today
Delayed by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the qualifiers for the FIFA 2022 World Cup are finally upon us. Although the plight of COVID hasn’t been mitigated, with Euro 2020 imminent, the qualifiers for the world cup couldn’t be further postponed.
In a bid to make up for lost time, the first international break will see three rounds of qualifiers be conducted. The hectic schedule is being engaged in to determine the spots for next year’s event with 55 countries in the fray for a spot in the gargantuan affair.
The first round of qualifiers will occur this Wednesday with reigning champions France locking heads with Ukraine on the day.
FIFA World Cup 2022 European Qualifiers Live Streaming
Time: 1:00pm, 3:45pm EDT
Date: March 24, 25
Telecast: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, TUDNxtra, fubo TV, ESPN+
Time: 5:00pm, 7:45pm GMT
Date: March 24, 25
Telecast: Sky Sports, ITV, NOW
Time: 10:30pm, 1:45am IST
Date: March 24,25
Telecast: Sony Ten 2/HD, SonyLIV
The FIFA World Cup 2022 European qualifiers will be contested in two stages. The group stage will see 55 teams divided in 10 groups of five or six teams each. Belgium, France, Italy, Spain – the four teams who reached the 2021 UEFA Nations League finals will comprise the smaller groups.
Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan
Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo
Group C: Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania
Group D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan
Group E: Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia
Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands, Moldova
Group G: Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, Latvia, Gibraltar
Group H: Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta
Group I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino
Group J: Germany, Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein
The group stage encounters will see each side take on each other twice with the eventual 10 group winners qualifying directly for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The second placed countries will meanwhile move onto the second round. There, they will be joined by the two best group winners of the UEFA Nations League 2020-21.
The 12 teams will then be drawn into three play-off groups constituted of four teams each. Each play-off path will see the teams play a one-off semi-final and a final with each other. The three winners from each play-off path will qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022 to give us the final countries competing for a shot at glory.