World Cup 2022 draw Q&A: Who has qualified and how does it work?

Teams divided into four pots based on Fifa rankings with Qatar as hosts

When and where is the draw taking place?

On Friday in Doha, Qatar, at 7pm local time (5pm BST). It will be broadcast live on fifa.com and RTÉ 2.

Which countries have qualified?

Twenty-nine of the 32 places have been filled.

Hosts: Qatar.
Africa: Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia.
Asia: Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea.
Europe: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland.
North America: Canada, Mexico, USA.
South America: Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Uruguay.

What about the remaining three slots?

The final European berth is due to be decided in June with Scotland facing Ukraine in a playoff semi-final and the winners taking on Wales. Scotland's manager, Steve Clarke, has suggested those games could be subject to further delay.

The other two places will go to the winners of intercontinental playoffs, contested on June 13-14 in Qatar, with Costa Rica facing New Zealand and Peru taking on the UAE or Australia, who first play the Asian confederation playoff in Doha on June 7th.

How will the draw work?

The teams are divided into four pots based on the Fifa rankings published on Thursday. Pot 1 comprises Qatar as hosts and the seven highest-ranked qualified teams. Pot 2 has the next eight highest-ranked qualified teams, Pot 3 the eight highest-qualified after that, and Pot 4 the five best-ranked teams after that and placeholders representing the two winners of the intercontinental play-offs and the remaining European play-off winner.

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, Wales/Scotland/Ukraine, Costa Rica/New Zealand, Peru/UAE/Australia.

Each World Cup group will contain one team from each pot. First each team in Pot 1 will be allocated a group, then each team in Pots 2, 3 and 4 to create eight groups of four. Each pot will be emptied before the next pot is drawn. Qatar will be allocated position A1 but in every other case a ball will be drawn from a team pot, then a ball drawn from a group pot to determine where they will be placed.

Teams from the same confederation will be kept apart in the groups with the exception of European teams, of which there will be 13. Five of the eight groups will have two European teams.

Potential group of death

With a whole host of strong teams in Pot 1, it is take your pick, however France will be looking to defend their trophy with a world-class spine of Raphael Varane and Ngolo Kanté, serving a star-studded attack of Kylian Mbappé and Karim Benzema.

Germany will be the team to avoid in Pot 2 as they have been revitalised under the management of Champions League-winning former Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick.

African Cup of Nations winners Senegal are as strong of an African team as has been in the tournament in many years, with talents like Sadio Mané, Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly.

Pot 4 has some potential banana skins, with Ecuador being tricky customers that have gotten draws against Brazil and Argentina this year.

France, Germany, Senegal, Ecuador

Potential easiest group

Despite their improvement in recent years, winning the 2019 Asian Cup, hosts Qatar are by far the weakest of the first pot teams in the draw and all teams will be looking to avoid the big guns and play them.

In Pot 2, USA stand out as one of the weaker teams among some European big hitters, but given that groups are most likely to include a European team, a transitional Croatian team with a very ageing stars might not pose the same threat they did four years earlier.

In Pot 3, Tunisia are a functional unit, lacking in big names, while in Pot 4 should New Zealand or Costa Rica qualify, they will be underdogs to make it out of their groups.

Qatar, Croatia, Tunisia, New Zealand/Costa Rica

When will the tournament take place?

It runs from November 21st to December 18th at eight venues. – Guardian