Football: Qatar World Cup places on offer as qualifiers resume

Qualifiers for Qatar 2022 are set to resume on Thursday with 44 teams still competing for the 17 spots left in the 32-team football World Cup that takes place in November and December.

Fifteen teams, including hosts Qatar, have already qualified for football’s biggest competition. Here is how things stand:

Who has qualified so far?

Argentina
Belgium
Brazil
Croatia
Denmark
England
France
Germany
Iran
Netherlands
Qatar
Serbia
South Korea
Spain
Switzerland

Europe

Number of spots: 13

Already qualified: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland

Situation: The 10 group winners have qualified with the the three remaining spots to be determined via the playoffs.

Matches:

Semi-finals – March 24
Wales vs Austria
Sweden v Czech Republic
Italy v North Macedonia, Portugal v Turkey
Scotland v Ukraine (postponed)

Finals – March 29
Poland (given a bye after Russia’s disqualification) v Sweden/Czech Republic
Portugal/Turkey v Italy/North Macedonia
Wales/Austria v Scotland/Ukraine (postponed)

South America

Number of spots: 4-5

Already qualified: Argentina, Brazil

Situation: The top four teams in the single South American qualifying group earn automatic spots, while the fifth-placed finishers enter an inter-continental playoff.

Argentina and Brazil have already qualified while Ecuador need a draw against Paraguay to reach Qatar 2022. For Uruguay, a win over Peru, coupled with Chile failing to win away to Brazil would secure qualification.

Matches:

March 24
Uruguay v Peru
Colombia v Bolivia
Brazil v Chile
Paraguay v Ecuador

Matches:

March 24
Uruguay v Peru
Colombia v Bolivia
Brazil v Chile
Paraguay v Ecuador

March 25
Argentina v Venezuela

North and Central America and the Caribbean

Number of spots: 3-4

Already qualified: 0

Situation: Top three sides from the eight-team league will qualify directly for the World Cup while the team finishing fourth will go into a playoff with the team that finishes top of the Oceania group.

Canada currently sit at the top of the table followed by USA and Mexico.

Matches:

March 24
Jamaica v El Salvador

March 25
Panama v Honduras
Mexico v USA
Costa Rica v Canada

Africa

Number of spots: 5

Already qualified: 0

Situation: Ten teams have reached the final round in African qualifying with the winners of the two-legged ties, starting from Friday, sealing progress to Qatar 2022.

Matches:

March 25
DR Congo v Morocco
Cameroon v Algeria
Mali v Tunisia
Egypt v Senegal
Ghana v Nigeria

Asia

Number of spots: 5-6

Already qualified: Iran, Qatar, South Korea

Situation: The 12 remaining teams in Asia’s qualifying have been divided into two groups. Top two sides from each group will seal progress to Qatar 2022 while the two third-placed teams will face off with the winners facing the fifth-placed side in South American qualifying.

Asia

Number of spots: 5-6

Already qualified: Iran, Qatar, South Korea

Situation: The 12 remaining teams in Asia’s qualifying have been divided into two groups. Top two sides from each group will seal progress to Qatar 2022 while the two third-placed teams will face off with the winners facing the fifth-placed side in South American qualifying.

Iran and South Korea have qualified from Group A. In Group B, Saudi Arabia can secure qualification with a win over China on Thursday. Japan and Australia are currently placed second and third in the group.

Matches:

March 24
Australia v Japan
South Korea v Iran
Lebanon v Syria
Vietnam v Oman
China v Saudi Arabia
Iraq v UAE

Oceania

Number of spots: 0-1

Already qualified: 0

Situation: Only one side can qualify from Oceania for the World Cup. The winner of the qualifying campaign advances to an intercontinental playoff against the fourth-placed side from the CONCACAF region, which features nations from North and Central America, and the Caribbean.

Matches:

March 24
Solomon Islands v Tahiti
New Zealand v New Caledonia
Fiji v Papua New Guinea

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies