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Qatar to host OFC nations for 2022 World Cup focused qualifiers

November 30 – Qatar will host the Oceania 2022 World Cup qualifiers with eight participants after both American Samoa and Samoa withdrew, FIFA has announced.

The World Cup host countries will hold the OFC qualifier in a small tournament of 8 teams, which will be played in a group stage, semi-final and final format. The winner of a knockout match between the two lowest ranked OFC member associations will complete the field.

The tournament will take place in the second half of March and will welcome the fortnightly OFC national football team after international competition in the region stalled during the global health crisis. March also represents the final period for the qualifiers to be completed.

Oceania has half a place in the World Cup in Qatar. The winner of the tournament will play in an intercontinental playoff match in June 2022 with the qualifying fourth place from the Concacaf region. Doha will also host those matches.

The Intercontinental Qualifiers, on June 13 and 14, respectively, will determine the final two participants in the 32-team region. Denmark, Germany and Brazil were among the first countries to secure their presence in Qatar.

In 2010, New Zealand was the last OFC representative at the global finals when they defeated Bahrain in the knockout round. At the World Cup in South Africa, the Whites were in Group F with Paraguay, Slovakia and Italy. They were unbeaten, drawn three times, but were still eliminated in the first round, one point behind second-placed Slovakia.

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http://www.insideworldfootball.com/2021/11/30/qatar-host-ofc-nations-centralised-2022-world-cup-qualifying/ Qatar to host OFC nations for 2022 World Cup focused qualifiers

JOE HERNANDEZ

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