December 5 – UEFA wants to tweak the qualifying process for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, allowing a pathway via the Nations League to reach the global finals.
In 2020, four finalists at the European Championships will have reached the competition via the Nations League, a competition that the European governing body launched with success to rejuvenate international football. On the back of the Nations League’s positive reception, UEFA now envisages a similar pathway for countries to the next World Cup finals, giving the competition an added competitive edge.
In a statement UEFA said that the ten group winners from the European qualifiers will qualify directly to the final tournament alongside three winners from a play-off round involving the ten group runners-up and the two best group winners of the 2020-21 Nations League. The change requires approval from world federation FIFA.
In March, UEFA will stage the draw for the next Nations League edition in Amsterdam. There will be 16 teams in groups A, B and C, with seven in D, according to the general ranking from the first edition of the competition that saw Portugal beat the Netherlands in the final last July.
For the 2018 World Cup, hosts and UEFA member Russia qualified directly for the finals as hosts. The nine group winners in qualifying also joined the hosts directly whereas the eight best runners-up advanced to the play-offs.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1594279875labto1594279875ofdlr1594279875owedi1594279875sni@o1594279875fni1594279875