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Oceania World Cup qualifying 2022: What’s the update?
There are many delays about the 2022 World Cup qualifying in Oceania due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s figure out how the World Cup qualification works in this confederation and what has happened with this season in this article.
What is the World Cup qualification?
The World Cup qualification is a must-have process before the official tournament takes place. It is a series of tournaments that are organized individually in each of the six FIFA confederations, including Asia; Africa; North, Central America, and the Caribbean; South America, Oceania, and Europe.
World Cup qualification is open for all FIFA member associations, currently 211 teams. However, there will be 210 teams participating in the qualifying process and the host team will automatically qualify for the World Cup. The structure for the World Cup qualification can vary depending on each confederation. Eventually, there are 31 teams chosen from six qualification tournaments.
The 2022 World Cup qualification started on 6 June 2019 and is expected to finish after three years, in June 2022. The strong impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has made the 2022 World Cup qualification suffer some postponements.
How many teams from Oceania qualify for the World Cup 2022?
Oceania Football Confederation (abbreviated as OFC) is one of the six continental confederations. Since this confederation doesn’t include too many countries (only 11 countries) and football is not strong, they only have zero to one slot for the World Cup depending on their result in the inter-confederation play-offs, the lowest number. Meanwhile, AFC, CAF, and CONMEBOL all have four to five slots each, CONCACAF has three to four slots, and UEFA has the most with 13 slots.
How does the Oceania World Cup qualifying work?
The Oceania World Cup qualification will be divided into two rounds with two different formats. This process is open for 11 team members of this confederation.
In the first round, 11 OFC teams are separated into two groups based on their FIFA rankings. They will play under the single round-robin format at centralized locations. The top two teams from each group will enter the second round.
The four teams from the first round play knockout two-legged ties in the second round. The first match is at the home venue and the second one takes place at the opponent’s venue. The second round will include the semi-finals and final to find out the eventual winner, who advances to the inter-confederation play-offs.
The 2022 World Cup qualifying in Oceania has been postponed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was expected to start in September 2020 like in other confederations, however, the series of OFC World Cup qualifications was held up until March 2021, and then in June that year.
After that, FIIFA announced that this timeframe would not either work, and the World Cup qualification in Oceania might be delayed until January 2022. As a result, the inter-confederation play-offs schedule was also removed from March 2022 to June 2022. So at the present, OFC is just guessing who can go further in the World Cup next year.
OFC World Cup qualification 2022