The moment we've been waiting for is here. The year of the World Cup is well underway and Qatar 2022 is just around the corner. Many teams have already punched their ticket, while others will try to do so in the March window.

But when the international break concludes, all the eyes will be on the highly anticipated 2022 World Cup group stage draw. With that in mind, FIFA has recently announced the procedure for the final draw that will take place on April 1 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center.

By then, we will already know 29 of the 32 qualified teams while the other three will come from the intercontinental and European playoffs, to be played after the draw. Here, let's take a look at its procedure.

How does the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup draw work?

The Final Draw of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup will determine how the 32 participant teams will be divided into eight groups of four. All 32 countries will be allocated to four pots of eight teams each based on the FIFA World Ranking to be released on March 31, 2022 - the last ranking before the draw.

The host country Qatar and the top seven teams will be allocated to Pot 1. Teams ranked 8 to 15 will go to Pot 2. Pot 3 will include teams ranked 16 to 23 while those ranked 24 to 28 will be placed in Pot 4. The two winners of the intercontinental playoffs and the UEFA team who clinches a berth from the European playoffs will also go to pot 4.

  • Pot 1: Qatar + seven highest-ranked teams on the ranking of qualified teams
  • Pot 2: Teams ranked 8 to 15
  • Pot 3: Teams ranked 16 to 23
  • Pot 4: Teams ranked 24 to 28 + three playoff winners (two from the intercontinental series + winner of the UEFA playoffs)

What will be the 2022 World Cup draw procedure?

The Final Draw of the 2022 Qatar World Cup will begin with Pot 1 and end with Pot 4. Each pot will be completely emptied before moving on to the next one. The procedure is as follows: a ball is drawn from the team pot followed by a ball from one of the group pots to determine to which position the team is allocated.

Qatar will be pre-assigned to position 1 in Group A as the host country. In addition, the other seven teams in Pot 1 will be automatically allocated to position 1 of each remaining group from B to H.

Besides, teams from the same confederation cannot be drawn into the same groups except for UEFA, as there will be 13 European teams. Therefore, each group will have at least one European team but not more than two. As a result, five out of the eight groups will have two UEFA teams. As for the playoff winners, the principle of 'geographical separation' will also be followed for their allocations. 

When are the intercontinental playoffs for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022?

The draw that took place on November 26, 2021 determined how the two intercontinental playoffs for the Qatar 2022 World Cup would be played, pairing the AFC representative against the Conmebol fifth-placed team while the OFC and Concacaf representatives will take on each other for the other berth. FIFA announced that these games will be played on June 13-14 in Qatar.