After England qualified for the 2022 World Cup - smashing San Marino 10-0 in their final qualification match - I became interested to know just who else they could come up against in next year’s first ever Winter competition.
QUALIFIED FOR QATAR 2022
Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Qatar, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland are the teams definitely in the finals.
That makes a total of 12 teams so far - with 20 still to go. Who else could we be seeing in a year’s time in the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East?
Thirteen teams will represent UEFA in Qatar from Europe, the most out of all other continents in this current 32 team format.
Qualified: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland.
Five teams will represent Africa at Qatar 2022.
Teams that have qualified for the final round: Algeria, Cameroon, Congo DR, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia.
These clubs will play against each other (details to be confirmed) in play off finals to decide the five that go to Qatar.
Five or six teams will represent the AFC in Qatar, depending on the results of play-offs.
In the Asian qualifiers, the top two teams in each group will qualify for Qatar 2022. The third-placed teams in each section will meet in a single-game playoff for the right to go into an intercontinental playoff for a place at the World Cup. In addition, remember, Qatar have qualified as hosts - already taking part in the Copa America to get tournament practice.
Currently, the top two teams from each of the two groups are Iran, Korean Republic, Saudi Arabia and Japan. Third placed teams are currently Australia and the UAE, who would play off against each other to then play in an intercontinental playoff.
North, Central America and Caribbean
Three or four teams will represent CONCACAF at Qatar 2022. The top three will qualify for Qatar 2022. The third-placed finishers will go into an intercontinental playoff. Currently, the top three are USA, Mexico and Canada, with Panama in fourth place. They would be the team to play in the intercontinental playoff as it stands.
However unfair this may sound, only one team could qualify for Qatar 2022. We won’t know who this could be until early 2022, when qualification from OFC starts.
New Zealand were the last side to play in a World Cup from Oceania back in 2010 in South Africa, and Australia actually moved themselves into the Asian qualifiers back in 2006 to give themselves more of a chance of qualification. Looking at this, you can’t blame them.
Four or five teams will represent CONMEBOL at Qatar 2022, depending on playoffs. The top four teams will secure World Cup qualification. The fifth-placed finishers will go into an intercontinental playoff.
Currently, the top four teams are Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Chile - with Colombia in fifth and Uruguay in sixth (equal on points). Peru aren’t far behind, either - the South American qualifiers are certainly all to play for.