Yesterday, UEFA revealed the groups for European teams to ensure qualification to the 2022 World Cup to be held in Qatar. Here are the groups in full:
- Republic of Ireland
- Northern Ireland
- Czech Republic
- Faroe Islands
- San Marino
- North Macedonia
The qualifying matches will take place from March through November of 2021 before the playoffs take place in March of 2022.
Here are the dates for the matchdays of the World Cup qualifiers:
- March 2021: Matchday 1-3
- September 2021: Matchday 4-6
- October 2021: Matchday 7-8
- November 2021: Matchday 9-10
- March 2022: Playoffs
The Holy Grail of football tournaments consists of 32 teams in total. Of the 32, 13 teams are from Europe.
The 10 first placed teams from as many groups will have secured their positions in the tournament. The second-placed teams in the group will be subject to playing qualifiers, along with the two best-placed teams in their Nations League group, who have not finished in the top two of their World Cup qualifying group.
Gibraltar, Faroe Islands, Albania, Slovenia, Armenia, Montenegro, Wales, Hungary, Czech Republic and Austria are the favourites to avail this advantage of the competition.
The winners from pool A, Spain, France, Belgium and Italy are less favoured to go to the World Cup owing to their quality in European football, meaning the smaller teams will get an added advantage.
The 12 teams (10 Group Runners Up + 2 Nations League Group Winners) will compete in three knockout paths, with the winners from each path entering the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.