Italy or Portugal will not travel to Qatar for the World Cup. The two previous European champions are in the same mini-tournament in the play-offs. They face North Macedonia and Turkey respectively. The matches will be played in March 2022.
Of course, both countries could still be absent from the World Cup. The play-offs are played in the form of three mini-tournaments with four countries each. In these tournaments, each country plays a one-match semi-final, after which the winners go head-to-head for the World Cup ticket to the final, also in one match.
This is the draw:
• Wales – Austria
• Scotland – Ukraine
• Russia – Poland
• Sweden – Czech Republic
• Portugal – Turkey
• Italy – North Macedonia
The winner of the best game will play at home in the final
Only when Portugal beat Turkey and Italy beat North Macedonia will either of them qualify for the World Cup. The play-offs will be played on March 24-25 (semi-finals) and March 28-29 (final).
In the past, World Cup play-offs often involved two matches. Italy have no good memories of the draft for their participation in a world final tournament. Sweden proved too strong in the play-offs ahead of the previous World Cup in Russia. As a result, Italy missed a World Cup for the first time since 1958. Portugal qualified for the play-offs at the expense of Sweden for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Four confederations provide a country for the intercontinental playoffs: Africa, South America, North America and Oceania. These countries will distribute the last two tickets for the World Cup in June 2022. A return match will be played.
This is the draw:
• AFC (Asia) – CONMEBOL (North America)
• CONCACAF (South America) – OFC (Oceania)
It is not yet clear which teams have qualified for the intercontinental play-offs, as the qualification for the World Cup on the continents is not yet complete. Oceania does not have a direct ticket for the World Cup, the best country will participate in these play-offs. In the last three World Cup qualifiers, it was New Zealand.
Serbia qualified directly for World Cup in Qatar 2022 at Portugal’s expense
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