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World Cup 2022 play-offs: Fixtures, dates, TV channels & everything you need to know

10:24 PM GMT 24/03/2022
Ronaldo Bale GFX
The race to Qatar is well and truly on, with a number of leading sides looking to fill the final three spots available to European nations

Ten European countries have booked their places at World Cup 2022, but three more spots remain up for grabs entering the UEFA section play-offs – with some big names set to be left disappointed.

Russia had been due to take part in the race to Qatar but FIFA and UEFA-imposed sanctions mean that they are no longer in the running, while Ukraine have seen their scheduled meeting with Scotland postponed until June.

Competitive fixtures remain on the calendar, though, across multiple pathways, meaning that there is still all to play for. Here, GOAL brings you all of the information you need to know ahead of some enthralling all-or-nothing encounters.

World Cup 2022 play-off first round fixtures & dates

Path

Fixture

Date

Time

A

Scotland vs Ukraine

March 24

Postponed

A

Wales 2-1 Austria

March 24

7:45pm GMT/ 3:45pm ET

B

Russia vs Poland

March 24

Cancelled

B

Sweden 1-0 Czech Republic

March 24

7:45pm GMT/ 3:45pm ET

C

Italy 0-1 North Macedonia

March 24

7:45pm GMT/ 3.45pm ET

C

Portugal 3-1 Turkey

March 24

7:45pm GMT/ 3:45pm ET

World Cup 2022 play-off final fixtures & dates

Path

Fixture

Date

Time

A

Wales vs Scotland/Ukraine

TBD

TBD

B

Poland vs Sweden

March 29

7:45pm GMT/ 3:45pm ET

C

Portugal vs North Macedonia

March 29

7:45pm GMT/ 3:45pm ET

How to watch the World Cup 2022 play-offs on TV and live stream online

All of the World Cup 2022 play-offs, including the final, will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports.

The matches can also be taken in on the Sky Go streaming service.

In the United States, Portugal’s meeting with Turkey will be available on ESPN2, fuboTV, Sling Orange and DirecTV Stream.

The remaining three games that are still going ahead on March 24 can be viewed on ESPN+.

Why have Russia been banned from World Cup 2022?

FIFA and UEFA acted decisively following Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine and opted to ban the country from continental and global competition until further notice.

Poland had already stated that they would be not be taking to the field against Russia as a show of solidarity with Ukraine, and they have now been awarded a bye through to the Path B final.

The football associations of Sweden and the Czech Republic were also refusing to line up against Russia in any revised format – with a Football Union of Russia similar (RFU), similar to the ROC committee used at the Olympic Games, mooted at one stage.

Elsewhere, Ukraine – who have been offered the opportunity to play home matches in Poland until being cleared to return to their own country – have seen their meeting with Scotland pushed back until the summer, when the two nations were due to meet in UEFA Nations League competition.

That decision means that Wales, the winner of the showdown with Austria, will have a long wait before taking in a decisive final encounter in Path A.

The 12 teams who originally made the play-offs, of which seven still remain, are made up of runners-up from the group stage of UEFA qualification and the two best group winners from the 2020-21 Nations League overall ranking that failed to qualify directly for Qatar 2022 or finish second in their group.

When is the draw for World Cup 2022?

With the UEFA qualification campaign coming to a close, play-off matches taking place in the African section and the final rounds of group games being staged in South American and Asia, the line-up for World Cup 2022 is almost complete.

The draw for the finals in Qatar is due to take place on April 3 – with one spot from Europe still waiting to be filled at that stage – while the tournament itself is set to get underway on November 21 and run through to December 18.