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Portugal or Italy WILL BE eliminated, Wales vs Austria, Scotland vs Ukraine delayed

THE World Cup playoffs are fast approaching and we now know that one of football’s giants will not make it to Qatar.

Surprisingly, European champions Italy, as the winners of the qualifying group, were not able to qualify for the tournament after a 0-0 draw in Northern Ireland.

And if they triumph at home against North Macedonia, they will meet Euro 2016 winners Portugal or Turkey in the play-off final.

Cristiano Ronaldo must lead Portugal through the play-offs to the World Cup in Qatar

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Cristiano Ronaldo must lead Portugal through the play-offs to the World Cup in QatarPhoto credit: AFP
European champions Italy also have to face the playoffs.

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European champions Italy also have to face the playoffs.Photo credit: AFP

Meanwhile, Scotland will have to go the play-off route if they want to qualify for the World Cup.

But their tie against Ukraine was POSTPONED due to the Russian invasion of the eastern European country.

FIFA has granted Ukraine’s request to move the originally planned date of March 24 to June.

This has meant that the play-off final against either Austria or Wales has also been delayed.

When are the World Cup qualifiers?

The World Cup qualifying play-offs will take place during the next international break, which will be played from 24th to 29th March 2022.

Twelve teams will advance to the playoffs – the ten runners-up from World Cup qualifiers plus the top-ranked Nations League group winners who have not yet qualified.

However, only THREE will advance to the World Championship.

the The draw for the playoffs took place on November 26th and saw the top six teams in World Cup qualifiers play at home in the semi-finals

Garath Bale helped Wales to their first World Cup qualifying spot since 1958

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Garath Bale helped Wales to their first World Cup qualifying spot since 1958Photo credit: AFP

World Cup Playoff Games

the The draw for the playoffs has now been made.

In each path, the winners of each semi-final compete against the other winners for a place in the World Cup.

So we could consider Scotland vs Wales and Italy vs Portugal for a place in the final.

Path A

Thursday, March 24th

*Ukraine has asked to postpone the Scotland play-offs to June

Tuesday, March 29th

Final – Wales/Austria vs. Scotland/Ukraine – DELAYED

Path B

Thursday, March 24th

Tuesday, March 29th

Final – Poland** vs Sweden/Czech Republic

**Russia has been banned by Fifa and will be banned from the World Cup pending an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport

way C

Thursday, March 24th

Tuesday, March 29th

  • Final – Portugal/Turkey vs. Italy/North Macedonia

What happens next with Scotland vs Ukraine postponed?

A new date is currently being discussed, which all parties can agree on.

The most likely timing is expected to be in the UEFA Nations League window, which takes place in June 2022.

Former Scotland international Mark McGhee agrees with FIFA’s decision to postpone play-off semi-finals.

The 64-year-old said: “I think it’s the right decision, we have to respect what’s going on there and how it affects their players.

“Ukraine deserves equal opportunities, maybe even more so given the circumstances, and right now it would be such a big request for their players to come and play a game at this level.

“So I don’t think anything is lost as a result. The Scottish fans obviously want to know what happens but I think it’s the right thing to do and I don’t think anyone at the Scottish FA will have a problem with that.”

Are there more World Cup qualifying playoffs?

Yes. The play-offs between the confederations will be played in a single leg in Qatar.

The games will take place in June and are as follows:

  • Fourth round winner in Asia vs fifth place South America
  • Fourth place North America vs. winner Oceania

Africa World Cup play-off matches

  • DR Congo v Morocco (3pm) – Friday 25 March
  • Morocco v DR Congo (8.30pm) – Tuesday 29 March
  • Mali – Tunisia (5pm) – Friday 25 March
  • Tunisia vs Mali (8.30pm) – Tuesday 29 March
  • Cameroon – Algeria (5pm) – Friday 25 March
  • Algeria vs Cameroon (8.30pm) – Tuesday 29 March
  • Egypt v Senegal (7:30 p.m.) – Friday 25 March
  • Senegal vs Egypt (6pm) – Tuesday 29 March
  • Ghana v Nigeria (7:30pm) – Friday 25 March
  • Nigeria vs Ghana (6pm) – Tuesday 29 March

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/16742789/world-cup-playoffs-fixtures-portugal-italy-wales-scotland-ukraine/ Portugal or Italy WILL BE eliminated, Wales vs Austria, Scotland vs Ukraine delayed

Ashley

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