Qatar 2022 intercontinental play-offs to be winner-takes-all single-leg ties

November 23 – FIFA has decided to ditch the two-legged format for the intercontinental playoffs in favour of single games at neutral venues in the race to secure the final spots at next year’s World Cup.

Four teams are due to feature in the playoffs from Asia, Oceania, South America and Concacaf with the draw on November 26 and the fixtures set for June 13 and 14.

Three of the playoff teams should be known by the end of March. Asia’s entry is scheduled to be decided in a regional playoff only days before the intercontinental playoffs.

The winner of each match will determine the final two qualifiers for Qatar.

FIFA cited “unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic” when scheduling the games for June, more than two months later than the pre-pandemic schedule.

FIFA will make the full World Cup draw on April 1 in Doha. Only 30 of the 32 qualifiers will be known at the time, with the intercontinental playoffs still to come.

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