2022 FIFA World Cup qualification

The 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification process is a series of tournaments organised by the six FIFA confederations to decide 31 of the 32 teams that will play in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with Qatar qualifying automatically as hosts. All 210 remaining FIFA member associations are eligible to enter the qualifying process.
Qualifiers opened in June 2019 with Mongolian player Norjmoogiin Tsedenbal scoring the first goal of qualification on 6 June. Unlike previous tournaments, it was agreed that there will be no general preliminary draw, with various draws to be held separately due to different timelines used by each confederation.

Qualified teams

TeamMethod of
Date of
Previous best
Hosts2 December 20101stN/A1

The 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers began in June 2019 and are expected to finish in June 2022.

Qualification process

Not all regional federations have announced their qualification process for the 2022 World Cup. All FIFA member associations, of which there are currently 211, are eligible to enter qualification. Qatar, as hosts, qualified automatically for the tournament. However, Qatar is obliged by the AFC to participate in the Asian qualifying stage as the first two rounds also act as qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. If they finish as winners or runners-up in their group, the fifth-best group runners-up will advance instead. For the first time after the initial two tournaments of 1930 and 1934, the World Cup will be hosted by a country whose national team has never played a finals match before. The reigning World Cup champions France will also go through qualifying stages as normal.
The allocation of slots for each confederation was discussed by the FIFA Executive Committee on 30 May 2015 in Zürich after the FIFA Congress. The committee decided that the same allocation used in 2006, 2010 and 2014 would be kept for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments:
On 9 December 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency handed Russia a four-year ban from all major sporting events, after RUSADA was found non-compliant for handing over manipulated lab data to investigators. However, the Russia national team could still enter qualification, as the ban only applies to the final tournament to decide the world champions. If Russia were to qualify, Russian footballers could still potentially compete at the tournament, pending a decision from FIFA. However, a team representing Russia, which uses the Russian flag and anthem, cannot participate under the WADA decision. The decision is pending appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.


The formats of the qualifying competitions depended on each confederation . Each round might be played in either of the following formats:
In league format, the ranking of teams in each group is based on the following criteria :
  1. Points
  2. Overall goal difference
  3. Overall goals scored
  4. Points in matches between tied teams
  5. Goal difference in matches between tied teams
  6. Goals scored in matches between tied teams
  7. Away goals scored in matches between tied teams
  8. Fair play points
  9. * first yellow card: minus 1 point
  10. * indirect red card : minus 3 points
  11. * direct red card: minus 4 points
  12. * yellow card and direct red card: minus 5 points
  13. Drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee
In cases where teams finishing in the same position across different groups are compared for determining which teams advance to the next stage, the criteria are dependent on the competition format and require the approval of FIFA.
In knockout format, the team that has the higher aggregate score over the two legs progresses to the next round. In the event that aggregate scores finish level, the away goals rule is applied; i.e., the team that scored more goals away from home over the two legs progresses. If away goals are also equal, then thirty minutes of extra time are played, divided into two fifteen-minutes halves. The away goals rule is again applied after extra time; i.e., if there are goals scored during extra time and the aggregate score is still level, the visiting team qualifies by virtue of more away goals scored. If no goals are scored during extra time, the tie is decided by penalty shoot-out.

Confederation qualification


The opening two rounds of qualifying also serve as qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. Therefore, Qatar, the 2022 FIFA World Cup host, only participates in these first two rounds of qualifying.
The qualification structure is as follows:


CAF announced on 10 July 2019 a reversion to the format used for its 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification competition.


Original format

CONCACAF announced on 10 July 2019 a restructured format for the qualifiers of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It was planned to commence in September 2020.
However, on 25 June 2020, following FIFA's decision to postpone the September 2020 international window due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CONCACAF noted that "The challenges presented by postponements to the football calendar, and the incomplete FIFA rankings cycle in our confederation, means our current World Cup qualifying process has been compromised and will be changed."

New format

On 27 July 2020, CONCACAF announced a new qualifying format for the World Cup.
The CONMEBOL Council decided on 24 January 2019 to maintain the same qualification structure used for the previous six tournaments. From March 2020 to November 2021, all of ten CONMEBOL teams will play in a league of home-and-away round-robin matches. The top four teams qualify for the World Cup, and the fifth-placed team advances to the inter-confederation play-offs.

Current stage


Qualifying was expected to begin in September 2020, but the FIFA international window in that month for the OFC was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Later on 28 July 2020, the OFC announced that they had submitted a proposal to FIFA for the qualifiers in response to the pandemic.
The qualification format was confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee during their meeting in Nyon, Switzerland on 4 December 2019, pending validation from FIFA. The qualification will depend, in part, on results from the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League, although to a lesser degree than UEFA Euro 2020. The structure will maintain UEFA's usual 'group stage/playoff stage' structure, with only the specific format of the play-offs amended.
There will be two inter-confederation playoffs to determine the final two qualification spots for the finals. They are scheduled to be played in June 2022.

Top goalscorers