There was a time in the (football) world when FIFA ...
corruptly somehow, wink-wink ... awarding Qatar a World Cup was the biggest issue one everyone’s minds, both for sporting and for humanitarian concerns. Now the fact that it’s taking place in the winter and thus majorly disrupting the football calendar, and on the backs of thousands of migrant workers who died while building these new stadiums, is just a footnote to be normalized in the next news cycle.
There certainly was no hint of any such nuance in today’s pomp and ceremony of a draw, which set the 8 groups of four for the tournament — even though only 29 of the 32 participants have been confirmed at this time.
The winners of the two intercontinental playoffs and either Scotland-or-Wales-or-Ukraine were thus placed in Pot 4 for the draw, the host nation went into Pot 1, with the rest of the pots determined by FIFA rankings rather than their relative success in qualifying. For example, Canada went into Pot 4 despite winning the CONCACAF region.
So, here are the groups for the World Cup, which starts November 21 with Qatar vs. Ecuador and runs through December 18 with Senegal of course winning it all.
Qatar, Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador
England, USA, Iran, Scotland OR Wales OR Ukraine (Euro Playoff)
— Robert Green (@Robert1Green) April 1, 2022
Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia
France, Denmark, Tunisia, UAE OR Australia OR Peru (IC Playoff 1)
Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica OR New Zealand (IC Playoff 2)
Belgium, Croatia, Morocco, Canada
Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Cameroon
Portugal, Uruguay, South Korea, Ghana