WC play-off draw opponents confirmed

The possible opponents for Macedonia in the opening play-off round are Portugal, Italy, Scotland, Russia, Sweden and Wales.

UEFA tonight confirmed that the draw to determine the final European encounters in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 preliminary competition will be held in Zurich, Switzerland on Friday 26 November 2021 at 17.00 CET.

The ten runners-up from the group stage of European qualifying are joined by two additional teams selected on the basis of the overall UEFA Nations League 2020/21 rankings. Specifically, these spots went to the two best-ranked UEFA Nations League group winners that neither qualified directly for the final tournament as European qualifying group winners nor already entered the play offs as European qualifying group runners-up. These two teams are Czechia and Austria and both are in the same pot as Macedonia.

The six best-ranked runners-up from the group stage of European qualifying are allocated to Pot 1 and play the play-off semi-final at home. The remaining six teams will be allocated to Pot 2.According to this rank Macedonia as 9th best runner-up has been allocated to Pot 2.

The pots:

Pot 1
Portugal Portugal
Scotland Scotland
Italy Italy
Russia Russia
Sweden Sweden
Wales Wales

Pot 2
Turkey Turkey
Poland Poland
Macedonia Macedonia
Ukraine Ukraine
Austria Austria (via UEFA Nations League)
Czechia Czechia (via UEFA Nations League)

The draw will start by allocating the six best-ranked teams, i.e. the teams from Pot 1, to semi-finals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively as a home team.

The first team drawn will occupy the home position in semi-final 1, the second team drawn in semi-final 2 and so on until the pot is emptied.

The draw will then proceed to allocate teams from Pot 2 to semi-final pairings one by one. The first team drawn from Pot 2 will occupy the away position in semi-final 1, the second team drawn in semi-final 2 and so on until all semi-final pairings are determined.

Semi-finals 1 and 2 belong to the play-off path A, semi-finals 3 and 4 form path B and semi-finals 5 and 6 contest path C. To determine which semi-final winner will play at home in the final, an additional draw will be held for each path.

The play-off semi-finals will be played on Thursday 24 March 2022, while the play-off finals on Tuesday 29 March 2022. UEFA will confirm the kick-off times after the draw.

The “prohibited team clash” rule means that certain nations cannot be drawn together. In the play-off that is the case of Ukraine and Russia.

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