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2022 FIFA World Cup qualification

The Asian section of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification acts as qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, to be held in Qatar, for national teams which are members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Apart from Qatar (who qualified automatically as hosts), a total of 4.5 slots (4 direct slots and 1 inter-confederation play-off slot) in the final tournament are available for AFC teams.


The qualification process involves four rounds, where the first two rounds double as the qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. Despite qualifying as hosts, Qatar participated in these two rounds to seek Asian Cup qualification. They would have acted as qualifiers for the cancelled 2020 AFC Solidarity Cup.

All 46 FIFA-affiliated nations from the AFC entered qualification. The FIFA World Rankings of April 2019 were used to determine which nations would compete in the first round. For seeding in the second round and third round draws, the most recent FIFA Rankings prior to those draws will be used.

Due to the joint format of the World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers, both Qatar (as the host nation of the 2022 World Cup) and China PR (as the host nation of the 2023 Asian Cup) also entered the second round of the qualifiers.

Timor-Leste was banned from participating in the Asian Cup qualification after being found to have fielded a total of 12 ineligible players in 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification matches among other competitions. However, as FIFA did not ban them from the World Cup qualifiers, Timor-Leste was allowed to enter the competition, but ineligible to qualify for the Asian Cup.

The schedule of the competition is expected to be as follows, according to the FIFA International Match Calendar.

On 9 March 2020, FIFA and AFC announced that the second round matches on matchdays 7–10 due to take place in March and June 2020 were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the new dates to be confirmed. However, subject to approval by FIFA and AFC, and agreement of both member associations, the matches may be played as scheduled provided that the safety of all individuals involved meets the required standards. On 5 June, AFC confirmed that matchdays 7 and 8 were scheduled to take place on 8 and 13 October respectively while matchdays 9 and 10 were also scheduled to kick off on 12 and 17 November. On 12 August, FIFA announced that the matches scheduled for October and November 2020 would be rescheduled to 2021.

On 25 June 2020, FIFA announced that the inter-confederation play-offs, originally scheduled to be played in March 2022, were moved to June.

On 11 November 2020, the AFC Competitions Committee announced that all the Asian qualifiers second round matches should be completed by 15 June 2021 with matchdays 7 and 8 in March 2021 and matchdays 9 and 10 in June 2021 with the final round of the Asian qualifiers beginning in September 2021. Also all 10 matchdays of the Asian qualifiers final round should be finished by the end of March 2022 with the Asian and inter-continental play-offs proposed for the FIFA window of May/June 2022. The Asian play-off for the World Cup in Qatar was proposed as a single match. On the same day, however, FIFA, along with the Bangladeshi and Qatari associations, gave approval to the only second round match originally scheduled for 2020, Qatar v. Bangladesh, which was played on 4 December.



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