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World Cup Playoffs 2022 - Nations League & World Cup Qualifying Play-Offs

The World Cup Playoffs 2022 are a mix of World Cup qualification and Nations League Play-Offs schedule + mode teams starting place allocation ?.


Nicole Sommer - Soccer expert Last updated: Wednesday, 30.November 2022 — 7 minutes read
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World Cup 2022 Playoffs: Mix of Quali- & Nations League Playoffs

If you want to be crowned world champion and thus the best football team on the planet in Qatar in winter 2022, you first have to qualify. Only the host from Qatar has secured his starting place. Europe have 13 starting places available due to the qualification.

Ten of these tickets for the 2022 World Cup will be awarded via the regular 2022 World Cup qualification. The three remaining starting places will be played out in the World Cup playoffs. These have been given a completely new mode. We have compiled everything you need to know about the new World Cup 2022 Playoffs.

All information about the World Cup Playoffs 2022

? Competition: World Cup 2022 Playoffs?? Date: 24 - 29 March 2022? Number of participating teams: 11? Tickets to be awarded: 3? TV broadcast: DAZN? World Cup playoff draw: 26.11.2021, 5 pm

World Cup Playoffs A

Note: Due to the war in Ukraine, the Scotland vs. Ukraine game has been moved from March to June 2022.

World Cup Playoffs B

Note: Due to the suspension of Russia due to the war in Ukraine, Poland is in the final without a fight

Participants of the World Cup 2022 Playoffs

A total of 12 teams will compete in the World Cup playoffs for three World Cup starting places. The 10 group runners-up of the World Cup qualification as well as the two best group winners of the Nations League, who are not in 1st or 2nd place in the qualification, qualify for the World Cup elimination.

World Cup 2022 Playoffs - Mix of World Cup qualifiers and Nations League Playoffs

As already indicated above, the mode of the World Cup 2022 playoffs is completely new. This is because there is now the UEFA Nations League, through which teams can qualify to participate in these play-offs.

But first things first: Ten of the 13 European World Cup 2022 tickets will be awarded via the 2022 World Cup qualification. The ten winners of the 2022 World Cup are entitled to qualifying groups. The remaining three starting places are reserved for the play-offs. For this purpose, three relays with four teams each will be drawn. These play over semi-finals and finals, who is allowed to go to Qatar.

Ten of the twelve teams that are on the ball in the 2022 World Cup play-offs come from the regular qualification. It is the teams that have reached second place in their qualifying group. By the way, this is comparable to the past. Also in the previous World Cup playoffs, the runners-up could hope to qualify for the final round.

The two additional teams are from the Nations League. They are on an equal footing with qualifiers. There is no hierarchy in the draw of the playoff duels.

How the Nations League teams of the playoffs are determined

Decisive for the participants of the Nations League 2020/21 is the group stage of this competition, which was played in autumn 2020. The two best group winners (based on their overall position in the UEFA Nations League) who could not qualify for the finals in the regular way or participate in the playoffs anyway by finishing 2nd in the qualification will be allowed to compete.

League affiliation is irrelevant. If the four winners of League A have already qualified regularly or participate in the playoffs anyway, the winners of League B move up and so on. It can therefore happen that supposedly stronger teams from League A are not admitted to the playoffs because they could not win their Nations League group.

These teams from the Nations League are eligible

In the order listed below, the following group winners would move into the World Cup Playoffs, unless they are among the ten best group winners or ten best group runners-up of the World Cup quali:

Mode of the World Cup 2022 Playoffs

The playoffs are played as mini-tournaments. In total, there are three relays of four teams each. Two semi-finals and one final will be played. Return matches are not planned.

The three tournament winners can look forward to a World Cup starting place. So they played a total of two additional games after the World Cup qualification.

Otherwise, the World Cup rules are used in the knockout system. In case of a draw, there is extra time and then a penalty shoot-out. Home and away goals are not a factor due to the waiver of a second leg.

When will the playoffs for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar take place?

The playoffs have been scheduled to take place well after the end of regular qualification (November 2021). This should give room for possible catch-up games and other problems. In addition, the league operation should be disturbed as little as possible.

The schedule is scheduled to be played from 24 to 29 March 2022, with the semi-finals scheduled for 24 and 25 March and the finals for 28 and 29 March.

How do the new playoffs differ from previous World Cup playoffs?

So the Nations League has added a new factor. In the past, it was the best group runners-up from the qualification who competed in the playoffs. But there were first and second legs. As explained, this is no longer the case. There were several reasons for the change and addition of Nations League representatives:

Why are there different systems for the European Championship and the World Cup Playoffs?

The playoffs for the European Championship have been exclusive Nations League play-offs since EURO 2021. This is due to the fact that the runners-up of the regular qualification already have their ticket for the European Championship finals secured, as 24 teams participate in a European Championship finals. The runners-up no longer have to be taken into account in the relegation.

For World Cups, however, UEFA has a limited contingent at its disposal. With only 13 European teams eligible to participate in the 2022 World Cup, UEFA has opted for a mix of World Cup qualifiers and Nations League playoffs for the World Cup Playoffs to keep the appeal of the Nations League high.

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World Cup Playoffs 2022 - Nations League & World Cup Qualifying Play-Offs.

The World Cup Playoffs 2022 are a mix of World Cup qualification and Nations League Play-Offs schedule + mode teams starting place allocation ?.

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