As the international break kicks off and confederations prepare to wrap up qualifiers to determine who will represent them at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, FIFA have announced the procedures for the draws.
April 1 will see the qualified teams grouped into eight groups to slug it out for the biggest prize in football. The draws will happen at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, Qatar, at 7 PM local time.
As is customary, teams will be seeded into four different pots in order to select eight total groups of four teams each. Each pot will mainly be determined by the latest FIFA rankings of the various teams which will be released on March 31 after the international real is done.
Qatar, who have already qualified automatically as hosts, will occupy the A1 spot in pot 1, and will be joined by the top seven from the FIFA rankings. Teams ranked 8-15 will be in pot 2, and teams ranked 16-23 will be in pot 3.
Pot 4 will be unique in its composition in that it will have two classes of teams: teams ranked 24-28, teams who qualify as a result of the intercontinental playoffs and the remaining UEFA qualifiers playoffs winner.
The intercontinental playoffs will be held on 13-14 June in Qatar, and will see one Asian Football Confederation team take on one CONMEBOL team as well as one CONCACAF team take on one Oceania Football Confederation team.
The final team to qualify for the UEFA playoffs will come from Ukraine’s bracket, which also has Scotland, Austria and Wales. Ukraine is unable to participate in the current international window due to their unfortunate situation at the time of this report, and have had their match moved to the next international window.
Wales will take on Austria as scheduled but the winner of that tie will have to wait till Scotland and Ukraine play each other in June to know the team they have to beat to make it to pot 4.
Also, as is customary, each of the eight groups will be filled according to the pots. The eighth teams in each pot will be seeded into the eight groups, before the next pot is drawn from.