FIFA World Cup draw preview
31 March 2022

FIFA World Cup draw preview

Cymru are just one game away from competing at the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar and will discover their potential opponents on Friday, 1 April, when the draw for the finals takes place in Doha (5pm).

2022 FIFA World Cup draw

  • 5pm BST Friday 1 April
  • Doha, Qatar

Following the 2-1 victory over Austria in Cardiff last week, when captain Gareth Bale scored two superb individual goals, Cymru will now take on either Scotland or Ukraine in the capital to determine who will take one remaining European place in the 32-team tournament that will take place in November and December.

FAW CEO Noel Mooney and President Steve Williams will be present for the draw having also attended the 72nd FIFA Congress on Thursday, and the reality of just how close Cymru are to competing on the world stage for the first time since 1958 will become very apparent when the draw is made. Rob Page's side will be in Pot 4 for the draw, together with the other two vacancies that will be filled by the Intercontinental play-offs.

The draw for the group stages of the tournament will consist of eight groups each of four teams. Although Cymru have moved up to 18th place in the latest FIFA World Rankings, a position that would have usually placed the side in Pot 3, the delay in completing the European play-off means that the winners will now occupy the remaining place in Pot 4 instead. The deciding match against either Scotland or Ukraine is currently scheduled to take place in June.

“I will be like every other Welsh supporter watching the draw,” said Page following the international challenge match against the Czech Republic on Tuesday. “I'll be really excited. I've said to the players about what an unbelievable camp we've just had, and now there's good times to come for this group, absolutely. I'm looking forward to the draw and the build-up into June.”

It was back in December 2010 that Qatar were awarded the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals, which confirmed that the tournament would be hosted in an Arab country for the very first time. This will be the 22nd World Cup competition and the first be the first to be played in the winter. It will also be the last to feature 32 nations as the competition will be expanded to 48 countries in 2026 when it will be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The matches will take place between 21st November and the 18th December across eight stadiums. The Education City Stadium, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium and the Khalifa International Stadium have been built in Al Rayyan, the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Stadium 974 and the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor and the 80,000 capacity Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail are the venues for the fixtures that will be confirmed following the draw.

Although three places are yet to be decided, notable absentees from the finals include current European champions Italy following their play-off defeat to North Macedonia last week. Meanwhile, Russia has been suspended indefinitely from all football activity and were removed from the European play-offs having been initially drawn against Poland, who subsequently qualified with their 2-0 win over Sweden.

Draw Location: The Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC), Qatar. Friday, 1 April (5pm UK).

Pot 1: Qatar, Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, England, Spain, Portugal.

Pot 2: Mexico, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Uruguay, Switzerland, USA, Croatia.

Pot 3: Senegal, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Serbia, Poland, South Korea, Tunisia.

Pot 4: Cameroon, Canada, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Cymru/Scotland/Ukraine, Costa Rica/New Zealand, UAE/Australia/Peru.