Media Release

Fédération Internationale de Football Association

FIFA Strasse 20, P.O Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland, +41 (0) 43 222 7777

Tuesday 16 July 2019, 13:59

204 member associations in contention for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ berths

With 204 member associations still in the race for a berth at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, AFC House in Kuala Lumpur is set to take centre stage on 17 July 2019, when 40 Asian member associations will learn their fate during the draw for the second round of the AFC preliminary competition.

The 40 member associations will be drawn into eight groups of five teams and compete in a double round-robin format, with matches to be held from 5 September 2019 to 9 June 2020. Based on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking of 14 June 2019, the five pots are as follows:

Pot 1: IR Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Australia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, China PR

Pot 2: Iraq, Uzbekistan, Syria, Oman, Lebanon, Kyrgyz Republic, Vietnam, Jordan

Pot 3: Palestine, India, Bahrain, Thailand, Tajikistan, Korea DPR, Chinese Taipei, Philippines

Pot 4: Turkmenistan, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Yemen, Afghanistan, Maldives, Kuwait, Malaysia

Pot 5: Indonesia, Singapore, Nepal, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Guam, Sri Lanka

A total of 12 teams (the group winners and the four best runners-up) will advance to the AFC Asian Cup China PR 2023 and the final round of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The four best teams in the final qualifying round will secure a spot at the global showpiece, with a fifth team going through to the intercontinental play-offs (Qatar are not permitted to advance to the final qualifying round because, as hosts, they have already qualified for the FIFA World Cup 2022).

Brunei Darussalam, Laos, Pakistan, Bhutan, Timor-Leste and Macau are already out of the race following their respective defeats against Mongolia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Guam, Malaysia and Sri Lanka in the first round of the preliminary competition in June.

All other FIFA member associations are in contention for one of the 31 FIFA World Cup 2022 berths that are still up for grabs.

The road to Qatar is set to come to a close in March 2022. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will kick off on 21 November, with the final scheduled for 18 December.

FIFA World Cup 2022 preliminary competition: overview by confederation


Start date: June 2019

Spots at FIFA World Cup final competition: 4.5

Format: three rounds, linked to AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifying (see details above)


Start date: September 2019

Spots at FIFA World Cup final competition: 5


*Round 1 (September 2019): 28 member associations to play knockout matches, with the 14 winners advancing to round 2.

Round 2 (March 2020 – October 2021): the 14 winners of round 1 to join 26 other member associations to form ten groups of four member associations, with the ten group winners advancing to round 3.

Round 3 (November 2021): the ten group winners of round 2 to play knockout matches, with the five winners qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2022.

* FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking of July 2019 to be used for the seeding of round 1


Start date: March 2020

Spots at FIFA World Cup final competition: 4.5

Format: a round-robin league, with teams facing off home and away


Start date: September 2020

Spots at FIFA World Cup final competition: 3.5


Hexagonal (September 2020 – September 2021): one group of six member associations, with the top three qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and the fourth-placed team qualifying for the Concacaf play-off.

Non-hexagonal (September 2020 – October 2021):

  • Group phase (September – November 2020): five groups of four member associations and three groups of three member associations, with the eight group winners advancing to the quarter-finals.

  • Quarter-finals (March 2021): knockout round with eight member associations, with the four winners advancing to the semi-finals.

  • Semi-finals (June 2021): knockout round with four member associations, with the two winners advancing to the final.

  • Final (September 2021): knockout match between two member associations, with the winner advancing to the Concacaf play-off.

  • Concacaf play-off (October 2021): knockout match between the fourth-placed team of the hexagonal and the winner of the non-hexagonal, with the winner qualifying for the intercontinental play-offs.

* FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking of June 2020 to be used for seeding


Start date: to be confirmed

Spots at FIFA World Cup final competition: 0.5

Format: to be confirmed


Start date: to be confirmed

Spots at FIFA World Cup final competition: 13

Format: to be confirmed

Draw information: the upcoming draws at the AFC and CAF are scheduled for 17 and 29 July, respectively; the draw dates for the four other confederations are yet to be confirmed.

Anti-discrimination measures

Throughout the preliminary competition, FIFA will implement comprehensive anti-discrimination measures in cooperation with the member associations and confederations. An overview is available here.


The FIFA World Cup 2022 Preliminary Competition Regulations are available on

FIFA World Cup preliminary competition statistics

For an overview of all-time FIFA World Cup preliminary competition statistics, please click here.

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