World Cup draw LIVE: Qatar 2022 qualifying groups to be decided as England discover fate | Football | Sport


World Cup draw LIVE: Qatar 2022 qualifying groups to be decided as England discover fate

World Cup draw LIVE: Qatar 2022 qualifying groups to be decided as England discover fate (Image: GETTY)

2022 World Cup qualifying draw LIVE

– Draw will commence at 5pm UK time
– 55 European countries to learn their opponents for 2022 World Cup qualifying
– Only 13 countries from Europe can make it through to the finals in Qatar

Pot 1: Belgium, France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands
Pot 2: Switzerland, Wales, Poland, Sweden, Austria, Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, Slovakia, Romania
Pot 3: Russia, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, Norway, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Greece, Finland
Pot 4: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Belarus, Georgia, Luxembourg
Pot 5: Armenia, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra
Pot 6: Malta, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, San Marino

Pot 3 is done

5.35pm: The Republic of Ireland take on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in Group A alongside Serbia. They might fancy their chances with that.

Northern Ireland, meanwhile, take on Italy and Switzerland and Scotland get a favourable Group F draw with Denmark and Austria, though those two teams are obviously still difficult to beat.

We’ll have no all-British qualifying ties – at least not before the play-offs! Wales are joined by the Czech Republic while England’s Pot 3 team are Hungary. 

Group A – Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland
Group B – Spain, Sweden, Greece
Group C – Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland
Group D – France, Ukraine, Finland
Group E – Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic
Group F – Denmark, Austria, Scotland
Group G – Netherlands, Turkey, Norway
Group H – Croatia, Slovakia, Russia
Group I – England, Poland, Hungary
Group J – Germany, Romania, Iceland

The Pot 2 teams

5.31pm: That previous question was obviously rhetorical. We all know the answer is yes, it’s going to take ages. The Pot 2 teams are in and England are joined by… Poland!

Wales go into Group E with the No 1 ranked team in the world Belgium. Not easy for Gareth Bale and co. 

Group A – Portugal, Serbia 
Group B – Spain, Sweden
Group C – Italy, Switzerland
Group D – France, Ukraine
Group E – Belgium, Wales
Group F – Denmark, Austria
Group G – Netherlands, Turkey
Group H – Croatia, Slovakia 
Group I – England, Poland
Group J – Germany, Romania

Let the draw… begin!

5.28pm: Some lovely theatrical music to add to the tension and anticipation as we wait to find out which team is which when they’re pulled out of the pot. Feel like I’m at the cinema.

Anyway, we have our first team into each group from Pot 1. It’s Group I for England. I for… is this going to take long?

Group A – Portugal
Group B – Spain
Group C – Italy
Group D – France
Group E – Belgium
Group F – Denmark
Group G – Netherlands
Group H – Croatia
Group I – England
Group J – Germany

World Cup draw LIVE: Qatar 2022 qualifying groups to be decided as England discover fate

World Cup draw LIVE: Qatar 2022 qualifying groups to be decided as England discover fate (Image: GETTY)

We’re underway

5.25pm: We all know UEFA and FIFA love a lengthy build-up to their draws, and we’ve got the pre-draw chat and draw procedure explanation underway.

Now let’s go down to business. De Rossi and Van der Vaart will join FIFA’s Jaime Yarza to conduct proceedings.

The first team out of Pot 1… Nations League holders Portugal.

Not long now…

5pm: The start of the draw is imminent. Here’s hoping for a whole host of interesting ties!

First, we’ve got a chat with former Italy midfielder Daniele de Rossi and ex-Netherlands playmaker Rafael van der Vaart. 

What you need to know

4.45pm: It’s not going to be a straightforward draw – although it never really is with UEFA or FIFA.

We’ll be given a thorough run-through of the afternoon’s events before the balls get pulled out of the pot, that’s for sure.

Here it is in its most basic terms…

– Teams will be allocated to a group in alphabetical order, Group A to Group J 
– Some teams have constraints due to either risk of severe winter conditions, excessive travel or UEFA Executive Committee decisions
– For example, Ukraine and Russia cannot be drawn against one another due to the UEFA Executive Committee and Norway, Finland and Lithuania cannot all go into the same group in fear of matches being cancelled due to weather
– England can theoretically draw Wales and also one of Wales, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland – all three of whom are in Pot 3

The key dates

4.30pm: So when will the World Cup qualifiers actually take place? Good question. They’ll be crammed in between March and November 2021, so Premier League managers won’t be overly delighted.

See the full match-day schedule below…

Matchday 1: 24–25 March 2021
Matchday 2: 27–28 March 2021
Matchday 3: 30–31 March 2021
Matchday 4: 1–2 September 2021
Matchday 5: 4–5 September 2021
Matchday 6: 7–8 September 2021
Matchday 7: 8–9 October 2021
Matchday 8: 11–12 October 2021
Matchday 9: 11–13 November 2021
Matchday 10: 14–16 November 2021
Play-offs: 24, 25, 28, 29 March 2022

World Cup draw LIVE: Qatar 2022 qualifying groups to be decided as England discover fate

World Cup draw LIVE: Qatar 2022 qualifying groups to be decided as England discover fate (Image: GETTY)

Ready, set, draw…

4.15pm: Afternoon all and welcome to Express Sport’s live coverage of the 2022 World Cup qualifying draw.

In an hour or so’s time, England will learn their five opponents as they bid to book their spot in Qatar in two years’ time.

Fifty-five European countries will be split into 10 groups of five or six with the winners of each group qualifying for the tournament.

The 10 group runners-up will then go into the play-offs, joined by the two best-ranked group winners of the Nations League that have not qualified directly for the Nationls League Finals.

The four countries into the Nations League Finals – Belgium, France, Italy and Spain – will all go into the smaller five-team groups.



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