Want to know about the journey to Qatar? Our author Tomaš Selinec, an expert in sport and sports betting takes us through the qualification process .
Approximately one year and a half from now the world will be witnessing a major sporting event. Thirty-two teams, drawn from six confederations, will gather in Qatar. Qatar 2022 is a unique tournament for several reasons; one, it is the first one to be held in an Arab nation. Two, Qatar is the first small nation to hold the event and three it is coming at a time when the world may be coming out of a serious health crisis that even led to the postponement of the event.
There are other firsts for this tournament including the fact that it will be played between November and December, away from the usual June-July period. This is because the region experiences very high temperatures in June and July. Also, this might be the last time we would be having 32 teams participating. From 2026, the number of teams will be increased to 48.
Slots for each confederation
Despite the intricacies surrounding the whole preparation for this major tournament, the journey to Qatar 2022 is in high gear. Qualifiers started in June 2019 and are expected to end in June 2022. The six continental confederations normally organize their competition where all the 211 members of FIFA are qualified to enter. Qatar as the host qualified automatically, although the country has been participating in the group stages as the competition’s first two rounds also act as the 2023 Asian cup qualification. FIFA agreed that the allocation that has existed in 2018 would be maintained for this tournament. Where Africa’s CAF would get 5, Asia’s AFC 4.5 excluding Qatar, Europe’s UEFA 13, North and Central America 3.5, South America 4.5, and Oceania 0.5 slots.
Final draw and match schedule
FIFA has already confirmed the match schedule, having done this in July 2020. Draw for the matches will be done in April 2020 with the opening match being played on 21st November 2022 starting at 13:00hrs local time at Al Bayt Stadium. According to the match schedule, four matches will be played each day during the group stage with kick-off times being 13:00 and the last one at 22:00. Finals will be on 18th December 2020 at Lusail Stadium kicking off at 18:00.
55 national teams which are FIFA affiliated with UEFA enter the qualification process. This figure included Russia which is facing a ban from participating in major events after it was found to be non-compliant after manipulating laboratory data in an anti-doping investigation. The qualifiers included group stages where 10 groups with 5 nations each. The play-off stages will see the 10 groups runners-up joining with the best two nations leagues group winners.
The qualifying group stage kicked off on 24th March, with Matchdays 1 up to 3 running up to 31st March 2021. Matchdays 4 kicks off on 1st September, with this qualifying season running to 7th September 2021. Group stage matches will end on 16th November 2021. The playoff will be played between 24th and 29th march with Semi-finals scheduled for 24 and 25 March 2020 while finals will be held on 28th and 29th March 2022.
The groups include:
- Group A: Republic of Ireland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan, and Serbia,
- Group B: Spain, Greece Sweden, Kosovo, and Georgia,
- Group C: Bulgaria Italy, Northern Ireland, Lithuania, and Switzerland
- Group D: Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Finland, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine,
- Group E: Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Wales, and Estonia
- Group F: Austria, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Israel, Moldova, and Scotland
- Group G: Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Latvia, Turkey, and Gibraltar
- Group H: Slovenia, Croatia, Russia, Cyprus, Slovakia, and Malta
Slovenia kicked off its group stage qualifiers on March 4, 2021, where they played against Croatia in Ljubljana’s Stožice Stadium. Slovenia won the match with one goal, the only one that was scored in that match. Given that they were playing against a team that was a runner in the 2018 World Cup one would have betted at bet365 app for the team to lose.
Slovenia was coming into this game strong after showing a good performance in the Nations League. The players were aware of the monumental task ahead of them, realizing that the World qualifier match was on a different level. This made them more focused on utilizing the chances which were created, to beat their opponent.
The goal was scored by Sandi Lovric. The second match on 27th and 30th March 2020 saw Slovenia lose to Russia and Cyprus respectively, with Russia scoring two goals to one and Cyprus beating them one goal to nil. Josip Ilicic scored the goal in the game with Russia. Slovenia is number four in the table of Group H having garnered three points and played three matches so far. For Slovenia to qualify for the playoff, they have to improve and win several games in September and October.
The World Cup 2022 journey has kicked off and surprises are expected. They have started with the qualifiers where bet365app provided players with analysis which some would not have expected and it turned out that Slovenia won the match against all the odds. Euro cup is coming and thereafter the 2021/22 season kicks off. This is the best time to have bet365app, the leading sports betting platform.