2022 is the year of the World Cup: When do the Qualifiers restart and the playoffs are played?

The first quarter of 2022 will have the particularity of the restart of the Playoffs in almost all confederations to meet those classified by Qatar World Cup, where several selections could seal their pass in the month of January.

Due to the atypical calendar for the Soccer World Cup at the end of 2022, the Qualifiers will start in the last days of January although the playoffs will be defined, depending on the confederation, in the months of March and June.

Concacaf returns on January 27 with Matchday 9

The qualifying rounds at Concacaf have yet to qualify for the next World Cup, although the surprising Canadian National Team is leading the table. In this Confederation three countries qualify directly and the fourth place will dispute the playoffs with the last classified of the Confederation of Oceania.

Matchday 9 will be played as follows:

  • Jamaica – Mexico, at Independece Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
  • United States – El Salvador, at Lower.com Field in Columbus, USA.
  • Honduras – Canada, at the Metropolitan Olympic Stadium in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
  • Costa Rica – Panama, at the National Stadium in San José, Costa Rica.
The United States and Mexico seek to snatch the first place in the table from the Canadian National Team in the Conmebol Qualifiers (Getty Images)

CONMEBOL resumes on January 27 and 28 with Matchday 15

South America already has Brazil and Argentina Qualified for the next World Cup and with four days to go to finish the Qualifiers, there are two direct spots available and a playoff available to look for a pass to the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Until now, Ecuador could seal his pass in the next days to be in the third position of the table with 23 points, followed by Colombia in fourth place with 17 points and tied with Peru, although by goal difference he is in the fifth position that gives access to the repechage match with the last classified of the Asian Confederation.

Brazil and Argentina are the only teams classified by Conmebol for the World Cup in Qatar. (Photo: Getty Images)

In South America, the fight for the position that gives direct access is highly contested due to the difference in points between Colombia, who are fourth with 17 units, until the eighth place where it is Bolivia with 15 units.

Matchday 15 will be played as follows:

  • Ecuador – Brazil, at the Casablanca Stadium in Quito, Ecuador. (27/1)
  • Paraguay – Uruguay, at the Defensores del Chaco Stadium in Asunción, Paraguay. (27/1)
  • Chile – Argentina, at the Calama Stadium, Chile. (27/1)
  • Colombia – Peru, at the Metropolitan Stadium, Barranquilla, Colombia. (28/1)
  • Venezuela – Bolívia, at La Carolina Stadium, Barinas, Venezuela. (28/1)

In Africa the last round will be played in March

The Africa Qualifiers have not yet defined the pairings for the third and last round to meet the five qualifiers from the African zone, although the date to dispute the commitments is confirmed for March 21, 2022.

The 10 teams qualified for the next round are: Algeria, Tunisia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Morocco and the DR. Congo.

Nigeria is one of the 10 teams seeking one of the 5 World Cup spots. (Photo: Getty Images)

In Asia, Groups A and B resume on January 27

The Asian Qualifiers will resume as in Concacaf and CONMEBOL to meet the four qualifiers and the playoff quota for the next World Cup, where Iran and Saudi Arabia lead Group A and B respectively. On the other hand, the third parties of each group will face each other to meet the selection that will seek their pass to Qatar through the play-off with the fifth selection of the South American table, with the United Arab Emirates and Australia, who could face each other.

Group A:

  • Lebanon – South Korea, in Sidon, Lebanon.
  • United Arab Emirates – Syria, in Dubai, UAE.
  • Iran – Iraq, in Tehran, Iran

B Group:

  • Australia – Vietnam, in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Japan – China, in Saitama, Japan.
  • Saudi Arabia – Oman, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Australia is in the third position of the table and looks to fight the last round in the Asian Qualifiers. (Photo: Getty Images)

Oceania will play a tournament in Qatar to meet the only qualifier for the playoffs

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Confederation of Oceania submitted a proposal to FIFA to play a tournament starting on March 13 in Qatar, where they will be divided into 3 rounds starting with the match between Tonga and Cook Islands.

The winner of that round will play in Group A with the national teams of Solomon Islands, Tahiti and Vanuatu, for its part, Group B is already defined with New Zealand, New Caledonia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

The two qualifiers in each group will play a semifinals and the winners of that key will play a final that will grant the pass to the intercontinental playoff with the fourth place from Concacaf.

European and intercontinental repechages

Europe will have a round of playoffs in a new format that will start on March 24, with a semifinals divided into three routes.

  • Route A: Wales vs. Austria and Scotland vs. Ukraine.
  • Route B: Russia vs. Poland and Sweden vs. Czech Republic.
  • Route C: Portugal vs. Turkey and Italy vs North Macedonia.
  • The winners of these keys will play a final match that awards the last three classified for the Qatar World Cup 2022. On the other hand, the intercontinetal playoffs will be played as a single match and in a neutral venue on June 13 and 14 to meet the last two classified to the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

    Portugal could meet Italy on Route C, where one of the two teams would be absent from Qatar 2022. (Photo: Getty Images)