Fans around the world are about to find out the path for their favorite national teams to the most sought-after trophy in the sport: the FIFA World Cup. Friday’s World Cup Draw will sort the field of 32 men’s national teams into eight groups and the results will have fans talking for days.
The chatter will surround which teams can go deep, which teams can advance from their group, and which will crash out. There will be talk of Groups of Death and lucky draws. There will be hype around the big matchups and the superstar showdowns. It’s all part of the seven-month buildup to the big event that kicks off in November.
That’s why every four years the World Cup Draw continues to attract the fascination of millions around the world and will be met with dramatic (over)reaction by fans everywhere. Can Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) or Lionel Messi (Argentina) win the one trophy they don’t have in what is possibly their final World Cup adventure? Can France repeat? Can anyone stop Brazil? Who will be the Cinderella? Is this the year an underdog can win it all?
We know 29 of the 32 teams that will compete in the event, with three other sports determined in June. But the eight teams vying in the playoffs for those three berths will be locked into the draw along with everyone else.
LIVE BLOG: Follow the updates from the World Cup Draw
What time is the World Cup Draw?
- Date: Friday, April 1
- Time: 12 p.m. ET (broadcasts start earlier)
The FIFA World Cup Draw kicks off at midday ET in the USA and Canada though most broadcasts will begin an hour before that.
The event is taking place at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in Qatar, the host venue of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Locally, the event takes place at 7 p.m. in the evening.
How to watch the FIFA World Cup Draw
- Date: Friday, April 1
- Time: 11:30 a.m. ET
- USA TV channel: FS1, Telemundo, Universo
- USA streaming: fuboTV, Peacock
- Canada TV channel: TSN (starting at 11 a.m. ET)
- Canada streaming: TSN GO (starting at 11 a.m. ET)
Canada: Coverage on TSN will start at 11 a.m. ET with streaming available on TSN’s GO platform.
FIFA will also be providing live coverage, with a live stream on the official FIFA Youtube channel.
The formal draw ceremony, in front of over 2,000 guests in attendance, will be led by U.S. national team legend Carli Lloyd, along with former England international Jermaine Jenas and presenter Samantha Johnson.
Former stars and coaches will assist with the draw process, including:
- Tim Cahill
- Ali Daei
- Rabah Madjer
- Adel Ahmed MalAllah
- Lothar Matthaus
- Bora Milutinovic
- Jay-Jay Okocha
How the FIFA World Cup draw works?
According to the official 2022 FIFA World Cup Draw procedure, here’s how the draw happens:
- Step 1 — Team: A team name will first be randomly drawn from each pot, starting with Pot 1 and ending with Pot 4. Each pot is emptied before moving on to the next one.
- Step 2 — Group: The first team drawn from each pot goes into Group A, the second team drawn into Group B, and so on all the way through Group H. If there’s a geographic restriction (see below) that prevents a team from being included in a group, then that team is simply inserted into the next group that follows. The group that is skipped over will be filled by the next team drawn.
- Step 3 — Group Slot: All Pot 1 teams will automatically occupy the first slot in a group (Ex. A1, B1, C1, etc.). For the other pots, a ball will be randomly drawn to determine a nation’s group slot (Ex. A2, A3 or A4). Why does a group slot matter? It determines the sequence of matches, making it important that it’s randomly selected.
Geographic restrictions: Teams from the same region cannot be drawn in the same group with the exception of Europe. Since there are 13 European teams in the draw and only eight groups (A-H), a maximum of two European nations are permitted in a single group. If there’s a geographic clash, the team drawn is simply moved to the next group in sequence. The next country drawn would go back and fill in the group that was bypassed.
FIFA World Cup pots and seeds
The 29 qualified teams and three playoff placeholders were sorted into four pots (Pot 1-4) prior to the draw based on their FIFA world rankings. The top-ranked teams were added in Pot 1 and the lowest-ranked qualifiers are in Pot 4.
Despite being ranked No. 51 in the world, Qatar is among the Pot 1 top seeds because it is the host of the event. It’s customary at the World Cup for the host to be a seed, whether they deserve it or not. Qatar will also automatically be playing in Group A, occupying the slot of A1 in that group.
Also, since the World Cup Draw is moving forward without knowing the final three berths (they take place in June), then there will be placeholders for them and all three were placed in Pot 4. Since the playoff winners could include a team as highly ranked as No. 18 Wales, the fact that they’re in a Pot 4 seed could make for an immediate “Group of Death”.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
|Qatar (51)*||Mexico (9)||Senegal (20)||Cameroon (37)|
|Brazil (1)||Netherlands (10)||Iran (21)||Canada (38)|
|Belgium (2)||Denmark (11)||Japan (23)||Ecuador (46)|
|France (3)||Germany (12)||Morocco (24)||Saudi Arabia (49)|
|Argentina (4)||Uruguay (13)||Serbia (25)||Ghana (60)|
|England (5)||Switzerland (14)||Poland (26)||Intercont’l Playoff 1|
|Spain (7)||USA (15)||South Korea (29)||Intercont’l Playoff 2|
|Portugal (8)||Croatia (16)||Tunisia (35)||Euro Playoff|
When does the FIFA World Cup start?
The World Cup traditionally take place in the middle of the year, in either May, June, or July. But since the climate in Qatar makes a summer World Cup unfeasible, it was rescheduled for later in the year when the temperatures cooperate: The World Cup is set to be held from Nov. 21 through Dec. 18.
It will be a very different dynamic for players, who have been accustomed to going right into a World Cup camp in May after a long European season. The timing of the 2022 World Cup could see fresher players since it’s the middle of the domestic season for many leagues.
Who will win the FIFA World Cup 2022?
Here are the pre-draw odds as they stand courtesy of DraftKings (USA) and Sports Interaction (Canada). Expect these numbers to fluctuate after the group draw is known.