1,264 days until Qatar: WC qualifying begins

FIFA World Cup, Leagues, Story, World Cup Qualifying
With the prospect of the 2022 World Cup now involving 48 teams becoming increasingly likely, Craig Burley thinks it will ‘dilute’ the quality of the tournament.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino wants Qatar to have a co-host and will present an expansion proposal at June’s congress in Paris.

It has not even been 11 months since France won the World Cup in Russia but qualifying is already underway for the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

Qualifying began as Mongolia beat Brunei 2-0 in the first round of matches from the Asian confederation.

World Cup 2022 qualifying how it works

Four further games were scheduled in which Cambodia take on Pakistan, Laos play Bangladesh, Macau face Sri Lanka and Bhutam host Guam.

With 1,264 days until the tournament starts proper on Nov. 21, 2022 there is still quite some way to go with the final scheduled for Dec. 18.

FIFA scrapped plans for a 48-team tournament last month, meaning 32 teams will take place as normal.

Qualifying in Europe is not set to begin until 2021 with the next edition of the UEFA Nations League set to run first, from September to November 2020. Fifty-five European nations will go through qualifying with 13 positions in the finals up for grabs.

The CONMEBOL qualifying phase sees 4.5 places up for grabs (four automatically and a potential fifth via an intercontinental qualifier) and is slated to begin in March 2020.

CONCACAF’s 35 eligible nations have 3.5 places to play for and are set to go through five rounds of qualifying with no start date released yet.

CAF has five places, ASIA has 4.5 and Oceania 0.5 with further intercontinental playoff places providing an additional two places.

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