Which countries can still qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar?

There are 29 teams that have secured qualification to November’s World Cup in Qatar, but there are still a few spots — three, to be exact — up for grabs.

The host nation (Qatar), 12 teams from Europe (UEFA), four from South America (CONMEBOL), four from Asia (AFC), five from Africa (CAF), and three from North America (CONCACAF) have mathematically secured a spot in the upcoming tournament.

All but three of the World Cup spots were confirmed, with only two intercontinental playoffs and one last European berth to be decided in June.

Below is a comprehensive rundown of who remains in World Cup contention, and how each nation can still qualify.

MORE: Final CONCACAF & CONMEBOL qualifying picture

Which teams have qualified for the World Cup?

To this point, 29 teams have qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Qatar, the host nation qualifying automatically and making its first World Cup appearance, joins 28 other nations that have qualified via competitive berths.

Below is a list of all countries that are guaranteed a spot in the 2022 World Cup (by region). There are three more names that will be added in June:

Africa

  • Cameroon
  • Ghana
  • Morocco
  • Senegal
  • Tunisia

Asia

*The list of teams below from the Asian confederation includes Qatar, which qualified automatically as host.

  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Qatar (Host)
  • 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

Here’s a rundown of the teams that still have dreams of making it to Qatar 2022 around the world and a region by region breakdown of how it all unfolded.

  • Australia (vs. UAE, vs. Peru)
  • Costa Rica (vs. New Zealand)
  • New Zealand (vs. Costa Rica)
  • Peru (vs. Australia or UAE)
  • Scotland (vs. Ukraine, vs. Wales)
  • Ukraine (vs. Scotland, vs. Wales)
  • United Arab Emirates (vs. Australia, vs. Peru)
  • Wales (vs. Scotland or Ukraine)

Asia World Cup qualifying

  • Teams that can still qualify (2 nations for 1 playoff spot): Australia, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Asian World Cup qualifying wrapped up with two groups of six teams each playing a 10-match schedule. The top two teams in each group qualified automatically, while the third-place teams (Australia and United Arab Emirates) will face off for the right to play in June’s single-elimination intercontinental playoff against Peru. 

Group A: Iran and South Korea secured qualification as the top two teams. The battle for third place and a playoff match against Australia was won by the United Arab Emirates (UEA) which beat South Korea on the final day of group matches.

Group B: Saudi Arabia and Japan qualified as the top two teams in the group. A decimated Australia side settles for third place and will have to pursue the single elimination playoff path to avoid missing its first World Cup since 2002. First, it will need to beat the UAE and then Peru in the intercontinental showdown.

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Group A

Rank Team Games Points Goal
Diff.
1. Iran-X 10 25 +11
2. South Korea-X 10 23 +10
3.* UAE* 10 12
4. Iraq-E 10 9 -6
5. Syria-E 10 6 -7
6. Lebanon-E 10 6 -8

* = Third place qualifies for the first of two playoff matches.
= clinched qualification, E = eliminated from contention

Group B

Rank Team Games Points Goal
Diff.
1. Saudi Arabia-X 10 23 +6
2. Japan-X 10 22 +8
3.* Australia* 10 15 +6
4. Oman-E 10 14 +1
5. China-E 10 6 -10
6. Vietnam-E 10 4 -11

* = Third place qualifies for the first of two playoff matches.
= clinched qualification, E = eliminated from contention


Africa World Cup qualifying

Five teams from Africa have officially qualified after emerging from their dramatic two-leg series: Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia are all heading to Qatar.

Here’s the way the series worked: The 10 teams left standing were each paired with another nation via a blind draw. The aggregate-goal winner across the two matches earned a spot in Qatar 2022. If teams were tied on aggregate goals, away goals scored counted as the first tiebreaker.

Note: For purposes of tracking away goals, teams listed first below (Team 1) were home teams in Leg 1 and away teams in Leg 2.

Team 1   Team 2 1st Leg 2nd Leg
Egypt vs. Senegal 1-0 0-1 (SEN advance 3-1 PKs)
Cameroon vs. Algeria 0-1 2-1 (CAM advance away goals)
Ghana vs. Nigeria 0-0 1-1 (GHA advance away goals)
DR Congo vs. Morocco 1-1 1-4 (MOR advance 5-2 agg.)
Mali vs. Tunisia 0-1 0-0 (TUN advance 1-0 agg.)

CONCACAF World Cup qualifying

  • Teams that can still qualify (1 nation for playoff berth): Costa Rica

The final round of CONCACAF qualification consisted of an eight-team round-robin group with the top three finishers qualifying directly. The fourth-placed finisher advanced to a June intercontinental World Cup playoff.

MORE: How the USMNT can qualify for the World Cup

Canada were the first to clinch a spot for their first men’s World Cup since 1986 and they topped the group against all predictions. They were followed by regional powers Mexico and USA, with the Americans only snatching the automatic World Cup ticket on goal difference.

Costa Rica finished just short in fourth place, but Los Ticos get a second chance at qualifying via an intercontinental playoff date with New Zealand in June. (Teams eliminated noted with “E” below.)

Team PTS GP W L D GF GA GD
1.* Canada-X 28 14 8 2 4 23 7 +16
2.* Mexico-X 28 14 8 2 4 17 8 +9
3.* USA-X 25 14 7 3 4 21 10 +11
4.* Costa Rica 25 14 7 3 4 13 8 +5
5. Panama (E) 21 14 6 5 3 17 19 -2
6. El Salvador (E) 10 14 2 8 4 8 18 -10
7. Jamaica (E) 11 14 2 7 5 12 22 -10
8. Honduras (E) 4 14 10 4 7 26 -19
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South America World Cup qualifying

Teams that can still qualify (1 nation for playoff berth): Peru

World Cup qualifying in South America (a confederation known as CONMEBOL) is straightforward with all 10 nations eligible to take part in a marathon round-robin schedule of 18 matches. The top four book direct tickets to Qatar, and fifth place heads to an intercontinental playoff against the playoff representative from Asia.

Brazil and Argentina dominated this competition, and Ecuador and Uruguay joined them as the teams holding the four direct berths. Peru pipped Colombia for fifth place, thus advancing to a playoff battle against Australia or the United Arab Emirates in June.

Team PTS GP W L D GF GA GD
1*-Brazil-X 45 17 14 3 40 5 +35
2*-Argentina-X 39 17 11 6 27 8 +19
3*-Uruguay-X 28 18 8 6 4 22 22
4*-Ecuador-X 26 18 7 6 5 27 19 +8
5*-Peru 24 18 7 8 3 19 22 -3
6-Colombia (E) 23 18 5 5 8 20 19 +1
7-Chile (E) 19 18 5 9 4 19 26 -7
8-Paraguay (E) 16 18 3 8 7 12 26 -14
9-Bolivia (E) 15 18 4 11 3 23 43 -20
10-Venezuela (E) 10 18 3 14 1 14 34 -20

European World Cup qualifying

  • Teams that can still qualify (3 nations for 1 playoff berth): Scotland, Ukraine, Wales

Europe has one remaining World Cup berth and three nations vying for it in June.

Bracket A: FIFA disqualified the Russian team, as the world governing body took a stance on the nation’s decision to invade Ukraine. Poland was set to face Russia and instead was given direct passage to one of Europe’s three World Cup playoff finals, hosting Sweden after the latter’s extra-time win over the Czech Republic. Poland won that final 2-0 with Robert Lewandowski getting one of the goals on a penalty.

Bracket B: The war has also prevented Ukraine from fielding a team in March, and FIFA granted its request to move its playoff match against Scotland to June. For that reason, the last World Cup berth in Europe will be awarded at that time. After beating Austria 2-1 in March, Wales will host the winner of Scotland vs. Ukraine.

Bracket C: Everyone thought we’d get the powerhouse matchup Portugal vs. Italy as the final of the third playoff bracket, but the Azzurri didn’t comply. North Macedonia sprung the upset on the road, shocking the Italians with a late goal 1-0. But then No. 67-ranked North Macedonia couldn’t make it two road wins in a row, as No. 8 Portugal won 2-0. Now Cristiano Ronaldo & Co. will be one of the top seeds in Qatar.

Bracket (Path) A

Semifinals

Date Home   Away
March 24 Wales 2-1 Austria
June TBD Scotland vs. Ukraine
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Final

Date Home   Away
June TBD Wales vs. Scotland/Ukraine

Bracket (Path) B

Semifinals

Date Home   Away
March 24 Russia cancelled Poland
March 24 Sweden 1-0 (a.e.t.) Czech Republic

Final

Date Home   Away
March 29 Poland 2-0 Sweden

Bracket (Path) C

Semifinals

Date Home   Away
March 24 Portugal 3-1 Turkey
March 24 Italy 0-1 North Macedonia

Final

Date Home   Away
March 29 Portugal 2-0 North Macedonia

Oceania

  • Teams that can still qualify (1 nation for playoff berth): New Zealand

There are no direct qualifiers to the World Cup from the Oceania region. Its qualification format grants the winner a spot in June’s intercontinental playoff against the fourth-place team from North America.

Eight nations were split into two groups with the entire Oceania qualifying tournament played in Qatar. The top two finishers in each group advanced to a four-team knockout bracket, with the final played on March 30. That last team left standing earns a spot in the intercontinental playoff.

Since Cook Islands and Vanuatu were forced to withdraw because of COVID-19 outbreaks, FIFA nullified their matches and Solomon Islands and Tahiti essentially played the lone game in Group A to determine seeding. New Zealand, which is usually the overwhelming favorite in this region, advanced from Group B along with Papua New Guinea.

Final (March 30): 

  • New Zealand 5, Solomon Islands 0

Semifinals (March 27): 

Group A final standings

Team PTS GP W L D GF GA GD
1. Solomon Islands-X 3 1 1 3 1 +2
2. Tahiti-X 1 1 1 3 -2
Vanuatu*
Cook Islands*

* Vanuatu and Cook Islands were forced to withdraw following a COVID-19 outbreak in their respective squads.

Group B final standings

Team PTS GP W L D GF GA GD
1, New Zealand-X 9 3 3 12 1 +11
2. Papua New Guinea-X 6 3 2 1 3 2 +1
3. Fiji 3 3 1 2 3 7 -4
4. New Caledonia 3 3 2 10 -8

FIFA intercontinental playoffs

After the FIFA World Cup Draw on April 1 there will still be three spots left to be claimed, including the final two berths via the FIFA intercontinental playoffs.

The intercontinental playoffs pit four teams from different regions that were drawn together in two winner-take-all matchups: Asia vs. South America and North America vs. Oceania. The winner of each matchup heads to the World Cup.

These intercontinental playoffs used to be a two-leg affair with each team hosting one of the legs. But due to fixture congestion related to the COVID-19 pandemic, both series were pushed from March to June and reduced to a single match on neutral territory in Qatar, the site of the 2022 World Cup finals.

Asia vs. South America

Date Team 1   Team 2
June 13-14 Asia 3rd place playoff winner
(Australia or UAE)
vs. S. America 5th place
(Peru)

North America vs. Oceania

Date Team 1   Team 2
June 13-14 N. America 4th place
(Costa Rica)
vs. Oceania winner
(New Zealand)