Since the announcement of the World Cup 2022 has been made, everyone is going crazy. The passion for football is different from the passion for the World Cup. For football this passion remains constant but recently people’s passion for the World Cup was awakened. People from all over the world are waiting to watch the tournament as soon as it begins. Well, the FIFA World Cup 2022 is going to be held in Qatar from mid-November to mid-December. time only 32 teams qualify for the tournament. FIFA was established in 1904 and the World Cup was introduced in 1930.
This is the highest level competition in football, which was first played in Uruguay in 1930. Since then, it has been held every four years, hosted by different countries. The right to host the tournament is similar to the competition for getting the trophy. Several FIFA affiliated countries compete for this greatest opportunity and whoever gets this opportunity automatically qualifies for the tournament. This time, Qatar proved lucky. This is the first time that the FIFA World Cup will be held in a nation of the Arab world.
Number of teams qualify for World Cup 2022
If you are a regular watcher of the football world cup, you should know that every time only 32 teams qualify for the tournament and compete for the championship. Since 1998 FIFA has been featuring 32 teams in the world cup while before that they used to be 24 only. From the 2026 World Cup, 48 teams qualify for the tournament instead of 32.
Must remember that all qualified teams are never from a single continent as it is mandatory to give equal representation to every region. Though Asia is the largest continent in terms of area, most national teams qualify from Europe. It shows how much the continent dominates football. The number of teams coming to the world cup from a region is predetermined. 32 slots are split into six regions out of which most are available for Europe. In this article we will give you a detailed summary of how many teams qualify from each continent.
Africa (CAF): 5
Europe (UEFA): 13
Asia (AFC): 4 (plus 1 playoff qualifier)
Oceania (OFC): 1 playoff qualifier
North/central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF): 3 (+1 playoff qualifier)
South America (CONMEBOL): 4 (+1 playoff qualifier)
32 teams which are going to play in the 2022 World Cup have been selected from different regions. 13 qualified Nations for the 2022 World Cup are from Europe, four from Asia, four from South America, 5 from Africa and the last 4 teams have been qualified from North America and Australia, a member of the Asian confederation. But the most important thing is which 32 teams qualify for the upcoming next world cup. Let’s take a look at the list of countries that qualify from each region.
Qualified Nations from Europe
As of the 2022 tournament, 13 slots in the final tournament were available for Europe(UEFA). This is the only continent from which more than 10 Nations will complete. The Union of European football associations (UEFA) has 55 national teams. All of the 55 jumped into qualification. National teams selected from Europe are Germany, Denmark, France, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland and Wales.
The qualification process was not simple as only 13 countries were supposed to qualify out of 55. Two rounds of matches were held and qualification went on for almost a year. The match days were scheduled to take place in 2020 but due to the impact of COVID 19, plans were ruined. The matchdays began from March 2021 and due to extension of the match days from 2 to 3, they lasted for November 2021. The first round was a group stage in which 10 groups of nations played against each other. Winner of each group went directly to the finals. Below are the groups.
10 Groups of which winner directly went to the finals
Group A: Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Azerbaijan, Serbia and Luxembourg.
Group B: Sweden, Georgia, Greece, Spain and Kosovo
Group C: Switzerland, Northern, Ireland, Lithuania, Italy and Bulgaria
Group D: Ukraine, Bosnia, France, Finland, Kazakhstan and Herzegovina
Group E: Wales, Belgium, Belarus, Czech Republic and estonia
Group F: Denmark, Scotland,, Austria, Israel, Moldova and Faroe Islands
Group G: Turkey, Montenegro, Norway, Netherlands, Latvia and Gibraltar
Group H: Slovakia, Russia, Croatia, Malta, Cyprus and Slovenia
Group I: Hungary, Poland, Albania, England, Andorra and San Marino
Group J: Romania, North Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein and Iceland
Qualified Nations from Africa (CAF)
Five out of 32 slots were available for Africa in the World Cup 2022. African nations selected for Qatar World Cup 2022 are members of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The nations Qualified for the 2022 World Cup are Ghana, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco and Cameroon. These nations played qualification matches to make it to the Qatar World Cup.
The qualification format was confirmed in a meeting on June 11, 2018. CAF announced that the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification format would be used again. The qualification process was split into three rounds.
First round: In the first round last ranked 28 countries contested and 14 winners joined other top ranked 26 nations in the second round. Second round: Total 40 countries played in the second round. They were divided into 10 groups of four nations each. One Nation emerged winner from each group.
Third round: 10 second round group winners played home-and-away over two legs. The five winning nations Qualified for the World Cup tournament.
The qualification tournament went on from 4 September 2019 to 29 March 2022. During this period, 158 qualification matches were played. FIFA World rankings of July 2019 were used to determine which teams would play in round one or two.
Qualified Nations from Asia (AFC)
Apart from Qatar, 4.5 slots were available for Asian teams which is very less as compared to Europe. The Asian National teams qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup held in Qatar are Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Cambodia and Guam. All of these nations are members of AFC (Asian Football Confederation). The qualification involved four rounds; the first two rounds doubled up as qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian cup needed to be done. It’s true that Qatar is the hosting nation and automatically qualifies for the 2022 FIFA World Cup but it still had to participate in the rounds to get qualified for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.
The qualification structure:
First round: 12 teams played home-and-away over two legs and six teams came out to be winners.
Second round: The first round six winners joined other higher ranked 34 nations in the second round. These 40 teams were divided into eight groups of five teams each and played round Robin matches. The eight group winners and four best group runner ups advanced to the third round.
Third round: a total of 12 teams went on to play in the third round. These teams were split into two groups of six teams each. Two top winners of each team Qualified for the World Cup 2022.
Fourth round: This round was played between two third placed teams and a single match decided the playoff qualifier for the tournament.
46 FIFA affiliated nations from AFC participated in the qualification matches. The FIFA World rankings were used to determine which teams would play in first round or second. As the joint qualification was held for 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 Asian cup, both Qatar (host of 2022 World Cup) and China (host of 2023 Asian cup) participated in the rounds.
Qualified Nations from Oceania (OFC)
Out of 32 teams, 0.5 slots were available for member teams of Oceania football Confederation (OFC). The teams which won in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification became qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup. 0.5 slot that is available for Oceania teams is equal to one inter-confederation playoff slot.
As we all know that in the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualification, COVID became a major obstacle. Due to this, qualification in Oceania was also postponed and held in the host country, Qatar from March 17, 2022 to March 30, 2022. On 28th July 2020, it was confirmed by OFC that eleven teams would be participating in qualification but in 2021 FIFA changed it to nine as American Samoa and Samoa had withdrawn.
In November 2021, OFC confirmed the qualification format. According to the format, a single match was to be played as qualification on March 13, 2022 between two lowest ranked nations of OFC as per FIFA World rankings. But the whole matter changed when Tonga withdrew from the match causing other nations to enter the group stage. Then eight remaining nations were split into two groups of four teams each. Top two winners of each team advanced to the final qualification Match and final winner Qualified for FIFA World Cup 2022 as the inter-confederation playoffs.
Qualified Nations from North/Central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF)
National teams qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup from North, Central America and Caribbean sections are the FIFA affiliated members of Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). Allocated slots for CONCACAF is 3.5 which means three are direct while remaining 0.5 is equated to one inter-confederation playoff.
Just like every other postponement, another postponement was made to the qualification of CONCACAF member teams for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The qualification format was also changed to a new format. The original format was announced on 10 July 2019 but due to Covid impact, on 25 June 2020 following FIFA’s decision to postpone September 2020 qualification CONCACAF announced that challenges presented by postponements and incomplete FIFA rankings cycle in the confederation means the qualification process will bear changes.
On 27 July 2020, CONCACAF announced the new qualifying format for the world cup. The qualification involves three rounds which are as follows:
First round: 30 bottom ranked teams of CONCACAF based on FIFA World rankings, were divided into six groups of five teams each and played single round robin matches. Winner of each group advanced to the second round.
Second round: The first round six group winners played a home-and-away match over two legs and three winners advanced to the third round.
Third round: Second round three winners joined top CONCACAF 5 teams in the third round and played round robin matches. The top three teams Qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the fourth ranked team advanced to the inter-confederation playoff.
All of the 35 FIFA affiliated national teams of CONCACAF entered qualification for the 2022 World Cup. The qualification tournament began from 24 March 2021 and ran till 30 March 2022. A number of 118 matches were played in total and 345 goals were scored. Cycle Larin came out to be the top scorer.
Qualified Nations from South America (CONMEBOL)
South American Qualified nations for 2022 FIFA World are the members of South American football confederation (CONMEBOL). A total of 4.5 slots were available for South American National teams which means four were to qualify directly while one was to be an inter-confederation playoff. The countries qualified for FIFA World Cup 2022 from CONMEBOL are Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Peru. Peru went to the finals as a playoff team.
The qualification process went on from 8 October 2020 to 29 March 2022. Total of 10 teams entered the qualification and 89 matches were played. On 24 January 2019, CONMEBOL announced that the same qualification structure would be used in qualification for FIFA World Cup 2022 that has been used in previous six tournaments. Ten teams would play home-and-away round robin matches. The CONMEBOL also approved the use of the Video assistant referee system. There were 18 match days out of which ten took place in 2020 while eight took place in 2021.
In July 2020, FIFA announced that CONMEBOL qualification of September 2020 was postponed to October 2020. Several postponements were made due to distinct reasons.