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The state of play as Wales feature in first World Cup draw in 64 years

31 Mar 2022 2 minutes Read
The Red Wall. Picture by Peter Hughes (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Wales will feature in a World Cup draw for the first time in 64 years tomorrow – as the highest ranked team among the bottom seeds for the tournament.

Wales are 18th in the new Fifa rankings released today but will be grouped with the lowest seeded teams in tomorrow’s draw along with Scotland and Ukraine.

Wales must beat the winner of the Scotland-Ukraine semi-final playoff which has been postponed until at least June due to the Russian invasion, to secure a first World Cup spot since 1958

Following the playoff win over Austria last week, world football’s governing body revealed the three teams still in with a chance of progressing through the play-offs when the draw takes place, will be treated as one entrant, and placed in pot four with the lowest-ranked nations.

Five places in pot four are defined by their ranking while two will be used as a placeholder for the intercontinental play-off winners.

The last spot will go to the winner of the play-off between Wales and either Scotland or Ukraine.

Ukraine are currently 27th in the new rankings with Scotland are 39th.

The other ranked teams in pot four are Tunisia 35th,, Canada 38th, Ecuador 46th , Saudi Arabia 49th,  and Ghana 60th.

The intercontinental play-offs will be contested on 13-14 June in Qatar, with the AFC representative facing the CONMEBOL representative and the Concacaf representative taking on the OFC representative.

Hosts

As hosts, Qatar, 51st in the latest rankings, will take position A1 from Pot 1, where they will be joined by the seven highest-ranked qualified teams Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, England, Spain, and Portugal.

Mexico, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Uruguay, Switzerland, USA and Croatia are in the second pot to be drawn, while Senegal, Iran, Japan,  Morocco, Cameroon, Poland South Korea and Serbia will be in Pot 3.

Teams from the same confederation will be kept apart in each of the eight groups of four to be drawn tomorrow, with the exception of UEFA, which is represented by 13 teams. Five out of the eight groups will therefore have two European teams.

Wales’ only previous appearance at the World Cup finals was in 1958, when they reached the quarter-finals in Sweden.


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