FIFA World Cup: The eight groups in Qatar
The real wait now begins for the 22nd running of football’s biggest showpiece as the 2022 FIFA World Cup groups were set following the draws on Friday.
The draws held in Doha, Qatar bring and end to days of speculation and prediction about various group of death scenarios, as the world looks forward to a 32 team show piece for the final time.
The quadrennial championship will expand to 48 teams in 2026, making the Qatar edition a truly special occasion as it will also be held outside its usual June-July, happening between November and December.
The 2022 World Cup kicks off on Monday, November 21, when hosts Qatar take on Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in their group A duel. African champions Senegal, also in the same group face-off with 2010 runners up Netherlands.
England have been drawn in group B and start their journey against Iran. United States are the other opponents in the group, with Wales the other potential team in the group if they can win their play-off against either Ukraine or Poland.
Lionel Messi’s last shot for a World Cup triumph with Argentina starts in group C where he will come up against Robert Lewandowski’s Poland, Saudi Araba and Mexico.
Defending World Cup champion France will seek to end the world cup winner curse with four of the last five champions not going past the group stage.
Their chances of breaking that can be rated as they come up against Denmark, Tunisia and the winner of the intercontinental play off between Australia or United Arab Emirates vs Peru in group D.
Group E is the potential group of death as it pits together 2010 winners Spain and four-time world champions Germany.
The addition of Japan and possibly either Costa Rica vs New Zealand from the other intercontinental play-off adds more spice to the group.
There is a familiar look to group G with record world cup champions Brazil once again sharing the same group with Serbia and Switzerland. Rigobert Song will lead Cameroon, this time as coach as they try to upset the odds.
Memories of that Luis Suarez handball from the 2010 World Cup will still be fresh when Ghana meets Uruguay in group H. The La Celeste will also have their hands full when they play Portugal who they knocked out at the round of 16 in 2018 and Korea Republic.
The group games will take place across eight stadia: Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Lusail Stadium, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, Education City Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium.
2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar Groups
Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
Group B: England, Iran, USA, European play-off (Wales vs Scotland or Ukraine)
Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
Group D: France, Denmark, Tunisia, Intercontinental play-off 1 (Australia or United Arab Emirates vs Peru)
Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan Intercontinental play-off 2 (Costa Rica vs New Zealand)
Group F: Belgium, Ghana, Morocco, Croatia
Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
Group H: Portugal, Canada, Uruguay, South Korea