The FIFA World Cup 2022 playoffs have changed. It has become an intercontinental playoff to be played on Friday, with single-leg games staged at a neutral venue. The winners of these matches have a chance to go straight to the World Cup group rounds to be held next year in Qatar.
FIFA cited disruption that was caused worldwide by the COVID-19 pandemic as meddling with the intended structure of the playoff. The games were supposed to have been held in June, more than two month later than the previously agreed upon schedule of games.
Meant to Make Games Fair for Everyone
Not every team shares the same time zone with one another, and that was considered when the Soccer World Cup playoffs schedule were drafted. The structure helps teams rest since two-leg matchups were eschewed to give players and staff time to rest and recuperate before their games.
There aren’t hosts announced for the two games, to be held on June 13 and 14, but the playoffs will involve several teams from different FIFA regions. Asia (AFC), South America (CONMEBOL), Oceania (OFC), and North America/the Caribbean (CONCACAF) will be sending their respective representatives to the competition.
How the Regional Qualifiers Will Be Played
Of all the regions, AFC will have the least time to rest. Asia is scheduled to decide with their representatives in a regional playoff to be held only days before the intercontinental playoffs. Meanwhile, 12BET sportsbook analysts will be watching closely whether CONCACAF will be sending either Mexico or the US or both.
The two-legged intercontinental playoffs were first used during the 1986 World Cup. In this format of the competition, logistical challenges have to be met as it basically requires players and teams to travel long distances.
Playing for the Win
The FIFA will hold the World Cup tournament draw on April 1 in Doha, where only 30 nations will be involved. The qualifiers will still be held during this time, and the intercontinental playoffs will eventually reveal which teams will make the final group stage. The football live scores should be interesting by the time the World Cup begins, which is scheduled to be on Nov. 21 next year. The finals will be played out on Dec. 18.
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