Qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is open to all 210 FIFA member associations. The process takes place through a series of competitions organized by six FIFA confederations. As the host nation, Qatar have automatically earned their place in the incoming World Cup tournament.
Soccer, and sports in general, have always been heavily reliant on technological advancements. For a long time, FIFA has been searching for technology to help referees make more accurate choices.
Across the globe, the use of video assistant referees (VAR) has grown common. As a result of the video replays, VAR helps match officials identify blatant errors or critical missed occurrences, allowing them to make the appropriate judgment.
Will there be VAR in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers?
The answer to that question is both "yes", and "no". When it comes to the European qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup, it has been announced that UEFA will utilize VAR for the remainder of the Qualifiers. VAR was not used in the first three rounds, but that has chaged in September.
Many were impressed with how well VAR was during Euro 2020. The group rounds conclude in November, and UEFA will be hoping for similar results in the qualifiers for Qatar 2022. When it comes to qualifying for next year's World Cup, the VARs will be on-site at the stadiums hosting each qualifier, as opposed to the Euros when they were located in UEFA's headquarters in Nyon.
Over a year before UEFA, South American football's governing body CONMEBOL took the decision to use VAR in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers. Final round 2022 World Cup qualifiers will use VAR. Meanwhile, prior to the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers Final Round, the Asian confederation AFC have chosen the use of the Video Assistant Referee.
However, in spite of the fact that CONCACAF has used VAR in previous recent events, there will be no VAR throughout the qualifying phase. The reason is that there are just three countries in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers Final Round that have approved the VAR technology: the United States, Canada, and Mexico.