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World Cup 2022 draw: How it works, seeding & everything you need to know

13:00 GMT+4 01/04/2022
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Wondering what the procedure is for the group stage draw? GOAL has all the details

Excitement is building for World Cup 2022 as Qatar gears up to host the sport's most prestigious football tournament, one which reaches an audience of billions across the globe.

Teams have been booking their place at the tournament and we will soon know the identities of each nation that is taking part. However, before the competition can begin, the teams must be placed into groups.

With the World Cup 2022 group stage draw coming up, GOAL brings you everything you need to know about how it works, the seeding and more.

How does the World Cup 2022 draw work?

Competition draws can be tricky to follow, but we have a simplified description of the procedure and constraints below.

General procedure

The 32 teams that have qualified for the World Cup are divided into four pots of eight teams.

Teams are drawn from each pot and allocated into eight groups. Pot 1 is emptied first, followed by Pot 2, then Pot 3 and finally Pot 4.

The procedure will see a ball drawn from the team pot and then allocated one of eight groups, from A to H.

Draw constraints

A number of constraints are observed in the draw. They are:

  1. As hosts, Qatar are represented by a different colour ball and are allocated to the position A1.
  2. The remaining seven top seeds are then drawn as the primary teams in groups B to H.
  3. FIFA's general principle is to have only one team from each qualification zone in a single group. This means that Brazil cannot be paired with Ecuador, for example. However, the principle does not apply to UEFA teams.
  4. Each group must have at least one, but not more than two UEFA teams. With 13 places reserved for European teams, this means five out of the eight groups will have two teams from that continent.
  5. Intercontinental play-off pairings: AFC team vs CONMEBOL team and CONCACAF team vs OFC team

Follow the World Cup draw live on GOAL!

World Cup 2022 group stage draw seeding

There are four seeding categories based on the FIFA ranking that was published on March 31, 2022.

Pot 1 features the hosts Qatar plus the seven highest-ranked qualified teams. Pot 2 is populated by the next eight highest-ranked qualifiers and Pot 3 includes the next eight best-ranked qualified teams after that. Pot 4 includes the next five highest-ranked qualified teams along with placeholders for the two intercontinental play-off winners and the last UEFA play-off winner.

The following table was updated on March 31, following confirmation of the FIFA ranking.

Pot 1

Pot 2

Pot 3

Pot 4

Qatar

Mexico

Senegal

Cameroon

Brazil

Netherlands

Iran

Canada

Belgium

Denmark

Japan

Ecuador

France

Germany

Morocco

Saudi Arabia

Argentina

Uruguay

Serbia

Ghana

England

Switzerland

Poland

Costa Rica / New Zealand

Spain

USMNT

South Korea

Peru or Australia / UAE

Portugal

Croatia

Tunisia

Wales or Scotland / Ukraine

See the full list of qualified teams for World Cup 2022

When is the World Cup 2022 draw?

Date

Time

Venue

April 1, 2022

7pm local / 5pm BST / 12 noon ET

Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, Doha, Qatar

The draw for the 2022 World Cup group stage will be held on Friday April 1, 2022.

Proceedings at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center are scheduled to begin at 7pm local time (5pm BST / 12 noon ET).

Read more about the World Cup 2022 group stage draw

How to stream & watch the World Cup draw live

FIFA will stream the draw live on its official website and it will be available to watch on the BBC in the UK.

GOAL is running a live blog which will be bringing all the news as it happens in Doha.

When does World Cup 2022 start?

The opening group fixture of the 2022 World Cup will be played on November 21, 2022. It will feature the hosts, Qatar, and another team from Group A. The game will kick off at 1pm local time (10am BST / 5am ET).

With the draw taking place in April, teams will have roughly eight months to prepare for their opponents.

The tournament runs for approximately one month, with the final being played on December 18, 2022. That fixture will kick off at 6pm local time (3pm BST / 10am ET).