If all UEFA Nations League group winners are group winners or runners-up in World Cup qualifying, what 2 teams qualify for playoffs?

2 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    Thank you for responding Barney. As you indicated, the playoffs for the World Cup qualifying will be the 10 group runner-ups plus two group winners from the Nations League. My question, though, is that it is possible (not likely, but possible) that the 14 group winners in the Nations League could all either automatically qualify for the World Cup or be group runners-up. If that happened, would they then take the best 2 teams from the final Nations League standings that didn’t win a group? I would assume that would be the case, but all of the info I have seen on the process only indicates Nations League group winners and doesn’t say what would happen if there were no Nations League group winners eligible for the playoffs.

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  • 1 month ago

    Well, there is a draw. Some of the qualification for the next world cup (2022) has not taken place yet. Like the UEFA (Europe) confederation. The qualifying will depend slightly on the results for the Nations League, but at a lesser degree than that of the Euro 2020.  


    For the World Cup, qualifying at first, remains largely the same, with ten group winners advancing directly to the finals in Qatar. The format to the play-offs has evolved, though, and will now consist of two knockout rounds from which three teams qualify. The 10 group runners-up (first stage) would be joined by the best 2 Nations League group winners based on the Nations League overall ranking which have not yet directly qualified or reached the play-offs.  


    The next Euro is first. In THAT for example, then, Scotland, cannot still qualify through their main Euro qualifying campaign as they finished third, and 2nd is the lowest position that can qualify you.  


    However, they can still qualify AT ALL as they won their new mini Nations League group. (This gives other countries another route into the final tournament.) They would play either of Hungary, Bulgaria Israel or Romania for a chance to qualify, depending on the draw.  


    Play-offs (four teams qualify)  

    The last four EURO places will be won through the European Qualifiers play-offs, which will be contested by the 16 UEFA Nations League group winners (i.e. the four group winners in each of the four divisions). 


    That draw was made three days after their final group game, which was a 3-1 win against Kazakhstan, on 22nd November 2019. They got Israel. It's a 1-legged match at Hampden Park and the winner will play the winner of Serbia VS Norway. The main draw, for the proper tournament took place on the 30th November. Those winning teams will each go into one of the groups.  


    I know a bit more about the Euro 2020 as it’s first and coming up sooner but it and the World Cup are largely similar.  

    Hope this helps.

    Update/Upgrade. Oh, okay. Sorry.

    For the World Cup qualifying, there’ll be the regular qualifying groups. 10 (A-J) with the top team (group winners) qualifying automatically for the final tournament. There are 13 UEFA spaces available. The runners up go into the playoffs along with two more teams from the 2020-21 Nations League. 


    Those 12 teams will be divided into 3 paths, with a one-leg semi final and a one leg final in each path to decide the remaining three European finalists. Qualifying will begin March 2021, with the next Nations League due September to November in 2020.  

    At present there is no date for the qualifying draw, though seeding will likely be based on FIFA's World Ranking. Those finals three places with be allocated via playoffs.


    This will involve the 10 runners-up PLUS the two best-ranked teams in the 2021-22 UEFA Nations League (that’s where it comes in, I think) not to have a qualifying path. There will be three playoff routes, each with four teams with a semi-final and a final for a place at the World Cup. 


    The ten group runners-up and the best two Nations League group winners, based on the Nations League overall ranking, which have not yet directly qualified or reached the play-offs will contest the second round. (You correct) 

    They will be separated into three play-off paths, with each path featuring two single-leg semi-finals and one single-leg final. The home teams will be determined by a draw. The semi-finals will be played in March, 24–25 and the finals on 28–29 March 2022.


    The winners of each path will then qualify for the World Cup. Those best two Nations League group winners, that will be based on the Nations League overall ranking, are teams that did not win their main qualifying group.  

    When a group is won, then that team qualify directly, regardless of how they did in their NL group. I think that, yes, the Nations League group winners could all qualify. The group runners up could qualify if the top NL team already qualified. Yes, I’m pretty sure they do what you said.  

    That's really as much as I know. 

    • Renfield1 month agoReport

      I guess the fact that a Malta or Latvia could win a Nations League group and potentially be eligible for a World Cup qualifying playoff while a good team that doesn’t win a Nations League group could be out of those playoffs seems a bit ridiculous

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