The Qatar 2022 World Cup draw live stream may only be a tiny taster for the action to follow when the tournament kicks off in November, but it's an important one.
The draw, which takes place in Qatar today (Friday, April 1), will tell us which teams will face each other in the group stage, and what their possible paths to the final could be.
And it really is important, because a favorable draw can be the difference between an early exit and World Cup glory; just ask Spain, drawn with Netherlands, Australia and Chile in 2014, or Ivory Coast, who faced Brazil and Portugal in 2010's Group of Death.
A total of 32 teams will compete in Qatar 2022, split into eight groups of four, with the top two from each going through to the last 16. For tomorrow's draw, the 32 nations have been placed into four pots based on FIFA rankings, with each group containing one team from pot 1, one from pot 2 and so on.
In reality, it's slightly more complicated than that, because not every team can be drawn with every other team — FIFA likes to keep countries from the same continent apart at the group stage. Plus, three teams have yet to qualify, with the final playoffs still to take place.
The draw will be conducted by eight former players and managers, including two World Cup winners in Germany's Lothar Matthaus and Brazil's Cafu.
Nigeria's Jay-Jay Okocha, Australia's Tim Cahill, Iran's Ali Daei and Algeria's Rabah Madjer all have World Cup experience, while Serbian Bora Milutinovic managed at five World Cups with different teams. Finally, Qatar's Adel Ahmed MalAllah played in the 1984 Olympics.
Scroll down for full details of how it works, and to find how to watch the Qatar 2022 World Cup draw live as it happens.
How to watch the Qatar 2022 World Cup draw live stream
Watch in the U.K. — The Qatar 2022 World Cup draw will be shown live on BBC, or BBC iPlayer online, and on the BBC Sport website. Coverage starts at 4.45 p.m. BST, with the draw itself due at 5 p.m. The first hour or so will be on BBC One, with the final 30 minutes on BBC Two (from 6 p.m.).
However, only certain countries will have access to the FIFA live stream: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo - Brazzaville, Congo - Kinshasa, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, São Tomé & Príncipe, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
If you're usually in one of those countries, but aren't there right now, you could connect via a VPN as if you were still in your home nation.
Our favorite VPN service right now is ExpressVPN, thanks to its combination of superb speed, great customer service and excellent device support. It also offers a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee, so you could check it out without having to sign up long term.
Using a VPN is incredibly simple.
1. Install the VPN of your choice. As we've said, ExpressVPN is our favorite.
2. Choose the location you wish to connect to in the VPN app. For instance if you're in the U.K. and want to view a U.S. service, you'd select U.S. from the list.
3. Sit back and enjoy the action. Head to the service of your choice and follow the draw.
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Qatar World Cup 2022 draw — Who has qualified?
As it stands, 29 out of the 32 teams for Qatar 2022 are confirmed. The final three places will go to the winners of the remaining playoffs. Russia were removed from contention due to the invasion of Ukraine; the winner of the Scotland vs Ukraine playoff will play Wales to determine the final European qualifier.
So, who'll be in the draw? The usual suspects: holders France, perennial favorites Brazil, perennial underachievers Belgium, Euro 2020 finalists England, and so on. But not Italy, who crashed out in one of the Euro playoffs last week, or Chile, Colombia or Nigeria, all of whom have lit up past World Cups.
The USA will be there though, as will Canada, plus dark horses such as Serbia, Senegal and South Korea, all of whom sit in pot 3.
That could make for some really tricky draws. For instance, England could get Germany, Senegal and Ecuador — or a far easier group of USA, Iran and Scotland.
Pot 1 (seeded teams)
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- Costa Rica/New Zealand
How does the draw work?
Each group will feature one team from each pot, but with a few caveats. The main one is that no group should include more than one team from a single continent, with the exception of Europe, where there can be a maximum of two teams in one group.
However, with three playoffs still to be completed, that could create some problems — for instance, if Costa Rica were to beat New Zealand in their playoff, they couldn't be drawn in the same group as Mexico or USA, whereas New Zealand could be. In short, it could get complicated!
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Formerly Editor in Chief (U.K.) on Tom’s Guide, Marc oversaw all gaming, streaming, audio, TV, entertainment, how-to and cameras coverage, and was also responsible for the site’s U.K.-focused output. He is now U.K. Editor in Chief on TechRadar. Marc previously edited the tech website Stuff and has tested and written about phones, tablets, wearables, streaming boxes, smart home devices, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, games, TVs, cameras and much more. He also spent years on a music magazine, where his duties mainly involved spoiling other people’s fun, and on a car magazine. An avid photographer, he likes nothing better than taking pictures of very small things (bugs, his daughters) or very big things (distant galaxies). When he gets time, he also enjoys gaming (console and mobile), cycling and attempting to watch as much sport as any human can. He's also fallen in love with Wordle over the past six months and is the author of our today's Wordle answer column, in which he supplies hints and strategy tips for the mega-popular word game. Given he's completed every single Wordle so far and only lost once, and analyzed every Wordle answer in search of patterns, he's well qualified to help you safeguard your streak.