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FIFA 2022 World Cup: The European qualifiers

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The world cup trophy, designed by Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, is pictured during the CAF draw, for the second round of Confederation of African Football (CAF) matches for 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification, in the Egyptian capital Cairo on January 21, 2020. (Photo by Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP)

The journey to Qatar 2022 for European nations began this week, when UEFA’s 55 member associations kicked off their qualifying campaign for next year’s finals.

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As one of the top seeds, England will be delighted with their draw, with Poland and Hungary as their highest-ranked opponents, while Wales must also beat Belgium and the Czech Republic to qualify for the 2022 showpiece.

Scotland avoided many of Europe’s best teams, with Denmark and Austria coming out on top of their rivals. All matches are available for betting on the Betway platform, featuring numerous markets.

How many slots for European Nations?
For UEFA teams, a total of 13 spots in the final tournament are open. The 55 teams were divided into five groups of five teams each, and five more made up of six teams.

The winners of the ten groups will automatically qualify for the finals, which will be held in November and December 2022 for the first time to escape the sweltering summer heat in the Middle East.

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 Groups:
Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan

Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo

Group C: Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania

Group D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kazakhstan

Group E: Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia

Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands, Moldova

Group G: Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, Latvia, Gibraltar

Group H: Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta

Group I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino

Group J: Germany, Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein

The qualifiers will take place from March to November 2021, with the play-offs following in March 2022. First round of matches took off with Betway favourites France drawing with Ukraine in Paris.

Matchday 1: March 24-25 2021

Matchday 2: March 27-28 2021

Matchday 3: March 30-31 2021

Matchday 4: September 1-2 2021

Matchday 5: September 4-5 2021

Matchday 6: September 7-8 2021

Matchday 7: October 8-9 2021

Matchday 8: October 11-12 2021

Matchday 9: November 11-13 2021

Matchday 10: November 14-16 2021

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What happens to the teams finishing second in their groups?
The ten group runners-up and the two highest-ranked teams from the Nations League who have not already qualified or finished in a runners-up position will compete for the remaining three spots.

To decide the final three European berths, these 12 teams will be split into three play-off fixtures, each with four nations. The format will consist of two elimination rounds from which the remaining three teams will be selected.

When are the play-offs?
The three path winners will qualify for the World Cup after rounds of single-match play-offs (semi-finals and finals, with the home teams to be drawn).

The semi-finals will be held on March 24-25, 2022, and will be hosted by the six best-ranked qualifying group stage runners-up.

The finals will be held on March 28-29, 2022, with the host decided by a draw.

World Cup draw
The 2022 World Cup finals draw will take place in April 2022.

The 13 European nations will be divided into four pots based on their FIFA world rankings, along with the 19 nations who qualified from the other five FIFA confederations. A maximum of two teams may be included in the same division in UEFA. Betway will continue to be the bookmaker to follow, bringing you all rounds of matches.

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