Several of the world’s major football confederations are taking part in 2022 World Cup qualifiers. The competition will see more than 800 matches played over the course of two and a half years. Those who qualify will compete in a prestigious competition to decide who will host the 2022 tournament. A total of 211 countries will take part in the competition. Here is an overview of the competition.
The African qualifying competition began in September, with 28 teams competing. The top two teams from each group qualified, while three teams finished behind them. In the Group F section, Egypt are in front of surprise group leaders Libya. They have scored the most goals in this section and are expected to seal first place. The other five teams are Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Libya and Tunisia.
UEFA is currently involved in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, having signed up 55 member associations. These countries will compete for 4.5 slots in the final tournament to be held in Qatar in 2022. There are also three slots available directly, and one slot is available through inter-confederation play-offs.
The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) is also involved in the competition, with 11 teams competing in the qualifiers. The top two teams from each group qualify automatically, and the third-placed team will play a head-to-head match to determine who will advance to an inter-confederation play-off. The Oceania qualifiers will be played over two rounds. In the first round, teams play home and away matches. The second round will feature 14 of the top-ranked teams from Round One, as well as five qualifying teams from the Nations League. The three teams who finish in the top three from each group will qualify for the final tournament.
The CONMEBOL qualification tournament is the longest of all six confederations. The teams play 18 matchdays. The teams are split into two groups, with each group consisting of up to six teams. In the first round, teams are ranked one to six. The top two teams play in Cotonou. In the second round, teams are ranked one to 26. In the third round, teams are ranked one to five. The top three teams will qualify for the final tournament in Qatar. The fourth-placed team will play a play-off with three other nations from the Nations League to determine who will advance to the finals in June 2022.
The CONCACAF qualification tournament was scheduled to start in September 2020. However, postponements and COVID-related travel restrictions prompted the competition to be moved to March 2021. The tournament has been redesigned to follow a different format. The second round will be played over two days, with the third round extending to three days. The two teams in each group that finish first and second will advance to the semi-finals. The finals will be held on March 28 and 29.
The European qualifying competition will also take place. All 55 member associations will compete. Those who qualify will be divided into four pots based on their FIFA world rankings. Those who qualify will be joined by 13 other nations in the final tournament to be held in Qatar.