Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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Italy or Portugal? Giants drawn together in World Cup playoffs

Either Portugal or Italy will miss out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after they were drawn in the same path in the UEFA playoffs Friday.

Italy will host North Macedonia with Portugal entertaining Turkey, and should both the seeded nations emerge from those ties, they will then face off for a place at the 2022 World Cup.

That means, the 2022 World Cup will be without the Euro 2020 winners, or their predecessors captained by five-time ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.

Wales and Scotland were also drawn together, meaning only one of the two British nations will be in Qatar.

Wales face Austria and Scotland take on Ukraine in the semifinals. The remaining path sees Russia taking on Poland and Sweden playing Czech Republic.

Twelve teams will take part in the play-offs, drawn into three paths of four teams with two semifinals and a final in each. The winners of the three finals will take the remaining three European places at the World Cup.

The play-offs are one-legged matches, with seeded teams at home in the semis and the hosts of the finals determined by a draw.

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