The World Cup draw is in, the teams are set.
The World Cup draw, more than any other moment, marks the true start of FIFA’s quadrennial tournament. The draw is when things get real, when players and fans can start plotting their path to the final, when it really hits home that the World Cup is here.
Here is the World Cup draw, as determined on April 1, 2022.
The #FIFAWorldCup groups are set
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) April 1, 2022
Editor's Note: What follows is our original story on the World Cup draw explaining the process.
Everything You Need To Know About The 2022 World Cup Draw
When Was 2022 World Cup Draw?
- Date: Friday, April 1, 2022
- When: 11:30 a.m. ET
- Where: Doha, Qatar
- TV: Telemundo, FS1
The 2022 World Cup draw took place on Friday, April 1, 2022, in Doha, Qatar.
Who Was In 2022 World Cup Draw?
The World Cup draw included 32 teams. Of those, Qatar qualified automatically as host, 28 will have qualified by the time of the draw and three more will be decided via playoffs played after the draw.
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- United States
The final breakdown of World Cup teams will be as follows, where the half berths refer to teams making intercontinental playoffs (more on those below).
2022 World Cup Draw By Region
- Asia: 4.5
- Africa: 5
- Concacaf: 3.5
- South America: 4.5
- Oceania: 0.5
- Europe: 13
Normally, the World Cup draw is held after every team competing has been decided. In part because of delays in qualifying caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, there will still be three spots left undetermined at the time of the draw. There will be two intercontinental playoffs played on June 13 and 14 in Qatar — Asia’s fifth-place team vs. CONMEBOL’s fifth-place team Peru, plus Concacaf’s fourth-place team Costa Rica vs. Oceania’s first-place team New Zealand — to determine two of the final three berths.
Additionally, UEFA’s World Cup qualifying playoffs will not yet have been determined because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While Russia was barred from playing in its playoff against Poland, Ukraine was allowed to postpone its playoff against Scotland until June, meaning the winner of that match will play Wales soon after that match, also in June.
How Does The 2022 World Cup Draw Work?
The World Cup draw worked similarly to how it did in 2018, with a few minor changes.
FIFA seeds every team based on FIFA ranking except for Qatar as host. FIFA will use the rankings released on March 31, 2022, which can be found here. The mathematically determined rankings are by no means a perfect measure of a team’s quality, but it’s what FIFA has decided to use and it’s probably better than a selection committee of humans inserting its own biases into the process.
#WorldCup fans️and teams⚽️will find out their paths to possible glory on 1 April in Doha . The procedures for the Final Draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ have just been released on @FIFAcom: https://t.co/qjLdXUkiR4 pic.twitter.com/fclZeuiWFz— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) March 22, 2022
The top seven teams in the FIFA rankings plus Qatar are placed in Pot 1, followed by the teams ranked eight to 15 in Pot 2, the nations ranked 16 to 23 in Pot 3 and finally the teams ranked 24 to 28 in Pot 4. Because the final three teams were not yet determined at the time of the draw, they were automatically be placed in Pot 4 as placeholders.
In addition to the four pots, there were four group positions to determine scheduling. The Pot 1 team in each group automatically takes Position 1, but the other three pots are drawn into positions 2, 3 or 4.
The draw started with Pot 1 followed by Pot 2, Pot 3 and finally Pot 4. Qatar was automatically placed in Group A, Position 1. When a team from Pot 2, 3 or 4 was drawn, a ball from the group position pot was also drawn. This continued until there were no teams left.
View this post on Instagram
There were a few constraints to the draw. No confederation (geographic region) can have more than one team per group except for UEFA (Europe), which must have at least one but no more than two teams per group. If a non-European team is drawn into a group that already has a team from its region, it will be placed into the next viable group; it’s the same for a European team drawn into a group that already has two UEFA teams in it.
There were two placeholders for which the region is not yet known, for the intercontinental playoffs. In these cases, the draw will prevented the placeholder from being placed into a group with either of the potential confederations involved.
This process is not ideal. For starters, the World Cup draw usually takes place after every team has been determined. The Wales/Scotland-Ukraine UEFA playoff has three teams that would normally go in the Pot 2-3 range, but because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine the team that comes out of that playoff will be placed into Pot 4, probably unfairly. Similarly, if Peru makes it through the intercontinental playoff, it should be in Pot 3 based on its FIFA ranking of 22 but will end up in Pot 4.
For more on how the USMNT was placed in Pot 2, click here.
Following Mexico and the U.S. qualifying on Wednesday, the pots will be as follows based on the current FIFA rankings.
World Cup Draw Pots (FIFA Ranking As Of March 31)
United States (15)
South Korea (29)
Saudi Arabia (49)
UEFA Playoff (Ukraine, Scotland or Wales)
AFC (Australia or UAE) vs. CONMEBOL (Peru) Playoff
Concacaf (Costa Rica vs. OFC (New Zealand) Playoff
#FinalDraw POT TWO:@miseleccionmx
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) March 31, 2022
#FinalDraw POT FOUR:@FecafootOfficie
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) March 31, 2022