Football World Cup 2022 / Qualification (UEFA)
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is sending 13 participants to the 2022 World Cup. All members of the 55 European associations take part in the qualification.
On December 9, 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced that Russia would be banned from all major sporting events for the next four years because of manipulated data from the Moscow laboratory. However, the Russian national team will take part in the qualification as the ban only applies to the finals. If Russia qualifies, Russian footballers could possibly take part in the final round as a neutral team, that is, without the Russian flag and anthem.
In accordance with FIFA regulations, the preliminary round matches can be played in the form of group matches or matches according to the cup system, each in return matches, or in exceptional cases in tournament form in one of the participating countries or on a neutral court. In the group games, three points are awarded for a win and one for a draw. The following criteria are decisive:
higher number of points
better goal difference
higher number of goals scored
higher number of points from direct encounters between teams with the same points and goals
better goal difference from the direct encounters between the teams with the same points and goals
higher number of goals from direct encounters between teams with equal points and goals
higher number of away goals from direct encounters between teams with the same points and goals if only two teams are affected.
lower number of minus points through yellow and red cards (yellow card 1 minus point, yellow-red card 3 minus points, red card 4 minus points, yellow and red card 5 minus points)
In the cup system, if there are tied goals after both games, the higher number of away goals scored counts. If the number of away goals is the same, extra time is played. If no goal is scored in extra time, the match will be decided on penalties. If both teams score the same number of goals in extra time, the away team qualifies on the basis of the more away goals scored.
The qualifying format was confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee on December 4, 2019. Qualification depends in part on the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League results, albeit to a lesser extent than the 2021 European Championship.
The 55 teams registered at the time of the draw were drawn into ten groups, including five groups of six and five groups of five (the four teams that made it to the Nations League final were divided into smaller groups). The ten group winners qualify directly for the final round. After the group stage, the remaining three starting places in play-offs between the ten runners-up and the two best group winners of the Nations League, who are not placed first or second in their respective group, will be awarded. These 12 teams are divided into 3 paths, which play two rounds (semifinals and final) in one encounter each, whereby the three winners will qualify for the world championship.
The schedule for qualifying matches is based on the concept of the English week: a game day extends over a period of two or three consecutive days. In the case of double game days, the games take place from Thursday to Tuesday. Two games are played on the double match days, so each team plays either on Thursday and Sunday or on Friday and Monday or on Saturday and Tuesday. In the case of triple game days, the games take place from Wednesday to Wednesday. Three games are played on each of the triple game days, so each team either plays on Wednesday, Sat.