The qualification system to determine the thirteen European teams that qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was approved by the UEFA Executive Committee during a meeting in Nyon, Switzerland.
The qualification system, pending validation from FIFA, is as follows:
• the ten group winners from the European Qualifiers will qualify directly for the final tournament;
• plus, the three winners from a play-off round involving
- the ten group runners-up from the European Qualifiers;
- and the two best group winners of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League overall ranking that have neither qualified directly for the final tournament as European Qualifiers group winners, nor entered the play-offs already as European Qualifiers group runners-up.
The combined qualification path to the play-offs including both the European Qualifiers runners-up and teams based on the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League results is rooted in UEFA’s intention to reward the sporting achievements in the UEFA Nations League group phase, in line with the original philosophy of the UEFA Nations League which rewards all teams for their achievements, independently of the league they play in.
Three play-off paths will be formed with two semi-final pairings each. The semi-finals will be played in single-leg knockout matches. The winner of each semi-final will advance to their respective play-off final, whereby a draw will be conducted in advance to determine the team playing at home.
The winners of the three play-off finals qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
League phase draw of the UEFA Nations League
The draw procedure for the league phase of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League – based on the new format as decided by the UEFA Executive Committee in September 2019 in Ljubljana – was approved. The draw will take place in Amsterdam on 3 March 2020 at 18.00 CET.