DOHA, Qatar, Dec 8 – World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar will play in UEFA qualifying, the country’s football association said on Tuesday, and will be placed in one of the five-team groups.
The decision is intended to give Qatar match preparation ahead of the global soccer spectacle due to be held in November and December 2022.
“Qatar will join Group A alongside Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg and Azerbaijan,” the Qatar Football Association (QFA) said in a statement.
Qatar will play the team with a rest day in each round of matches.
“As the next FIFA World Cup host nation, Qatar has already qualified for the tournament — meaning any results involving Qatar will not count towards qualification,” the QFA said.
“Qatar will play its ‘home’ matches in Europe in order to allow short travel times for their opponents.”
The European qualifying competition begins in March, with 13 countries from the continent going through to the 32-team finals.
There will be three rounds of fixtures in March, three more in September and two each in October and November.
Only the winners of the 10 groups will qualify automatically for the finals, which are to take place in November and December of 2022.
Qatar have previously joined tournaments staged by other federations than its own Asian-region AFC, playing in the Copa America in 2019 where they will participate again in 2021.