17 January 2022
The draw for the World Cup play-offs todayThe Azzurri will play at home in the semi-final (24 March), whereas the venue for the final (29 March) will be decided via the draw
Friday, November 26, 2021
And so, to get to Qatar, we must go through the playoffs, just like it was four years ago. The playoffs this time around, as recognised by Italy Head Coach Roberto Mancini, have a more “complicated” formula than they did in 2017 when the Azzurri lost to Sweden and were forced to miss the tournament in Russia.
This time, in fact, in order to get through, we will need to beat not one, but two teams given that, of the twelve teams involved, only three may progress to Qatar 2022. The ten second-place teams from UEFA qualifying and the two best-ranked teams from the last edition of the Nations League who didn't qualify will be divided into two pots: Pot 1 is the six best-ranked teams of the ten groups (which includes Italy), while Pot 2 is formed of the remaining four second-place teams from qualifying and the two Nations League entrants.
The draw takes place at 17:00 CET in Zurich today and the teams will be divided into three brackets of four teams - a true Final Four with two Pot 1 teams and two sides from Pot 2. Italy, given they are seeded in Pot 1, will play their semi-final at home on 24 March, while the final will be held on 29 March at a venue that will be established by the draw.
The pots for the draw
Pot 1: Portugal, Scotland, ITALY, Russia, Sweden, Wales
Pot 2: Turkey, Poland, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Austria, Czech Republic