Tue. May 17th, 2022

Marca

The playoff draw for the 2022 World Cup has been made and either Portugal or Italy will miss out on the tournament in Qatar after they were drawn together in the second phase of the draw.

Italy will take on North Macedonia initially, with Portugal facing Turkey, and should both the seeded nations emerge unscathed from those ties, they will then face off for a place at the 2022 World Cup.

That means, the 2022 World Cup will be without the Euro 2020 winners, or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Elsewhere in the draw, the next quartet sets up an eye-catching Eastern European clash as Russia play Poland, with the winner then coming up against either Sweden or the Czech Republic.

In the final section, there will be another local rivalry as British neighbours Scotland and Wales could come together in the final, if they can overcome Ukraine and Austria respectively.

Without a giant

The result of the draw means that one of the last two winners of the European Championship will not be at the 2022 World Cup.

It also means that there are strong chances for the likes of Scotland and Austria, who were not present at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

All eyes will also be on some of the major talents, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Marco Verratti, Robert Lewandowski, Gareth Bale, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, or David Alaba who could miss out on the tournament.

With only three of the 12 sides set to progress, heartbreak is assured for some of the biggest names in football.

Full European World Cup 2022 Playoff Draw

Path A

Semi-final 1: Scotland vs Ukraine

Semi-final 2: Wales vs Austria

Path B

Semi-final 3: Russia vs Poland

Semi-final 4: Sweden vs Czech Republic

Path C

Semi-final 5: Italy vs North Macedonia

Semi-final 6: Portugal vs Turkey

All ties will be played in March 2022 in the next UEFA international break.

By Nwosu Chizoba David

Nwosu Chizoba David is a soccer lover and writer. He is a graduate of Biological Sciences, presently teaching in a secondary in Lagos.

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