December 8, 2021

FIFA World Cup 2022: One-Legged Playoff Games to Be Held on Neutral Ground

2 min read

The FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers playoffs have changed. It has become an intercontinental playoff to be played on Friday, with single-leg games staged at a neutral venue. The winners of these matches have a chance to go straight to the World Cup group rounds to be held next year in Qatar.

The organization cited the COVID-19 disruption that happened worldwide as one of the underlying factors why the playoffs didn’t go as planned. The games are supposed to be held in June, more than two months later than the originally planned schedule.

Meant to Make Games Fair for Everyone

Not every team shares the same time zone with one another, and that was considered when the FIFA World Cup playoffs schedule were drafted. The structure helps teams rest since two-leg matchups were eschewed to give players and staff time to rest and recuperate before their games.

The hosts for the two games to be held on June 13 and 14 are as of yet unclear, but the playoffs will host teams from several FIFA regions. AFC (Asia) has their representatives, as well as CONMEBOL (South America), OFC (Oceania), and the Caribbean/North America (CONCACAF), where the US and Mexico are members. Most of these regions still have qualifiers ongoing.

How the Regional Qualifiers Will Be Played

Of all the regions, AFC will have the least time to rest. Asia is scheduled to decide with their representatives in a regional playoff to be held only days before the intercontinental playoffs. Meanwhile, 12BET online sports betting analysts will be watching closely whether CONCACAF will be sending either Mexico or the US or both.

The format of the two-legged intercontinental playoffs first got some use in time for the 1986 World Cup. This format of the competition is the most time-consuming and tiresome on the part of players and the teams, since it involves long-haul travels in-between games.

Playing for the Win

Only 30 nations will initially be involved when the FIFA holds the World Cup tournament draw in Doha on April 1. The qualifiers will still be held during this time, and the intercontinental playoffs will eventually reveal which teams will make the final group stage. The football match scores should be interesting by the time the World Cup begins, which is scheduled to be on Nov. 21 next year. The finals will be played out on Dec. 18.

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