World Cup finals draw: How to watch, what time is it, who has qualified for Qatar, how it works, who Scotland could get

The World Cup finals draw takes place in Qatar on Friday, with Scotland included for the first time since France 98 pending the outcome of the postponed play-offs. Here we explain who has qualified, how the draw works, who Scotland could get and how to watch.

Thursday, 31st March 2022, 5:45 pm
The World Cup finals draw for Qatar 2022 takes place on April 1 at 5pm British Summer Time. Scotland's name will be in the hat as an either or with Ukraine and Wales.
The World Cup finals draw for Qatar 2022 takes place on April 1 at 5pm British Summer Time. Scotland's name will be in the hat as an either or with Ukraine and Wales.

Who could Scotland get?

Worst case scenario: Brazil, Germany, Japan. Best case scenario: Qatar, USA, Tunisia. But hang on, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s go through it first.

OK, so who has qualified?

So far, 29 of the 32 finalists have been decided. Two intercontinental play-offs in June will determine two of the final three places. The last European place will go to Scotland, Ukraine or Wales in the last and delayed European play-off. Scotland’s semi-final against Ukraine at Hampden has been postponed to June. The winners of that match will take on Wales in Cardiff for a place in the finals.

The 29 nations who have qualified are as follows. Hosts: Qatar. Europe: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland. South America: Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Uruguay. Asia: Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea. Africa: Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia. North/Central America & Caribbean: Canada, Mexico, USA.

Who is in the play-offs?

Australia, who have Hearts wing-back Nathaniel Atkinson and former Hibs forward Martin Boyle in their squad, will face the United Arab Emirates for the right to play Peru in the first intercontinental play-off final. Costa Rica will face New Zealand in the other. These matches will all be played in Qatar in June. Scotland, Ukraine or Wales will take up the final place via the delayed European play-offs route.

Where and when is the draw?

The Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre in Qatar will host the draw on Friday, April 1 at 5pm BST. It will be led by Carli Lloyd, Jermaine Jenas and Samantha Johnson, assisted by Cafu (Brazil), Lothar Matthaus (Germany), Adel Ahmed MalAllah (Qatar), Ali Daei (IR Iran), Bora Milutinovic (Serbia/Mexico), Jay-Jay Okocha (Nigeria), Rabah Madjer (Algeria) and Tim Cahill (Australia). The draw will be attended by 2,000 guests.

How do I watch?

FIFA will be streaming the draw live via its official website, with the link becoming active on the morning of the draw. In the UK, the BBC will also be broadcasting all of the action on television and via the BBC iPlayer.

How does the draw work?

The 32 finalists will be drawn into eight groups of four. The 29 teams who have qualified will be divided pots 1 to 4 based on the FIFA world rankings as at March 31. As hosts, Qatar will take position A1 from Pot 1, where they will be joined by the seven highest-ranked qualified teams. The countries occupying positions 8-15 on the ranking of the qualified teams will be allocated to pot 2, and so on. Pot 4 will include three placeholders representing the two winners of the intercontinental play-offs and Scotland/Ukraine/Wales, which means a tough draw can be expected. FIFA says that whenever possible teams from the same confederation will not be drawn together at the group stage, with the exception of Europe where each group can contain a maximum of two teams from the continent. FIFA’s full guide can be found here.

Who is in what pot?

Pot 1: Qatar, Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, England, Spain, Portugal.

Pot 2: Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Uruguay, Croatia, USA, Mexico.

Pot 3: Iran, Japan, Morocco, Serbia, Poland, South Korea, Senegal, Tunisia.

Pot 4: Cameroon, Canada, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Wales/Scotland/Ukraine, Costa Rica/New Zealand, UAE/Australia/Peru.

What happens next?

The match schedule will be confirmed after games have been assigned a stadium and kick-off time. The World Cup itself will take place between November 21 and December 18 2022, with the group stage lasting 12 days and featuring four a per day. Matches at the group stage will kick off at 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm GMT.

Message from the editor

Thank you for reading this article. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our sports coverage with a digital sports subscription.