Football World Cup: Germany, Spain in same group as FIFA conducts the draw for Qatar 2022
Doha, April 2 (IANS): The groups for the FIFA World Cup 2022 were decided on Friday at a draw ceremony in Qatar, where the tournament will take place in November and December of this year.
The tournament’s opening game will see hosts Qatar face Ecuador in Al Khor on November 21. Kick-off times and venues for the remaining group-stage matches are yet to be decided.
A total of eight groups, each featuring four teams, will compete in the first round of the competition. A total of 29 of the 32 teams that will compete in the tournament have been confirmed.
Two of the remaining teams will be decided during the Intercontinental Play-offs that take place on June 13 and 14, with the final place decided by a play-off between Wales and either Scotland or Ukraine.
Groups for the FIFA World Cup 2022:
Group A: Qatar, Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador
Hosts Qatar will kick off the tournament on home soil against Ecuador, who finished fourth in the South American qualifying stage. The two teams are joined in Group A by 2022 AFCON champions Senegal and European powerhouses the Netherlands, who were among the group of second seeds for this year’s tournament.
Group B: England, USA, Iran, Scotland/Wales/Ukraine
Group B will see 1966 World Cup champions England begin their campaign against Iran.
The USA, who finished third in their qualifying group behind Canada and Mexico, were also drawn in Group B with the fourth spot to go to the winner of a European Play-off between Wales or Scotland/Ukraine.
Group C: Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia
Lionel Messi’s Argentina were drawn into Group C, where they will face Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland. Argentina have won the tournament twice in their history, including a home victory in 1978 and a win on the soil of this year’s opponents Mexico in 1986. They will be looking for more glory in what may well be Messi’s final chance to lift the World Cup.
Group D: France, Denmark, Tunisia, UAE/Australia/Peru
Group D sees defending champions and two-time World Cup winners France face off against Euro 92 champions Denmark and African powerhouses Tunisia. The final team in the group will be decided in the first Intercontinental Play-off, with the United Arab Emirates, Australia and Peru all in the reckoning.
Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica/New Zealand
In what may be the most challenging group in the tournament, 2010 champions Spain have been drawn to play four-time champions Germany.
Japan, who finished second in their qualifying group behind Saudi Arabia, will provide stern competition in Group E, with the final spot to be decided after the second Intercontinental Play-off between Costa Rica and New Zealand.
Group F: Belgium, Croatia, Morocco, Canada
After securing a historic first qualification in 36 years, Canada will be joined by Belgium, ranked second in the world, 2018 finalists Croatia and Morocco in a Group F that looks to be one of the most competitive of the tournament.
Group G: Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Cameroon
Brazil have lifted the World Cup on a record five occasions. If they are to do so again they will first need to navigate their way past three strong teams in Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon. The Seleção are currently ranked first in the world ranking, having won their qualifying group ahead of neighbours and long-time rivals Argentina.
Group H: Portugal, Uruguay, South Korea, Ghana
Group H will feature Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea, with four strong nations all vying for qualification to the knockout rounds.
Uruguay have lifted the trophy on two occasions in their history, while Portugal can rely on the talents of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, the leading all-time goalscorer in men’s international football, as they aim to win the ultimate prize in men’s football.