Scheduled for Friday, here is how to watch the FIFA World Cup draw ahead of Qatar 2022.

The process leading up to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in November and December presented unusual circumstances and storylines.

Normally, the World Cup is the most popular sporting event with international excitement. However, human rights issues, corruption, and climate concerns still cause debates among soccer fans. With the World Cup teams locking in their places, the usual anticipation is somewhat dampened.

The draw for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar will also be much different in 2022.

Traditionally, a World Cup draw includes all of the qualified teams. Fans visualize a complete group stage and start to prepare for the monthlong tournament. This, however, will not be the case.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine had impacts on the UEFA World Cup Qualifying playoffs. Ukraine’s playoff semi-final against Scotland is scheduled for June. Consequently, the winner of this match plays Wales for a spot in Qatar not long after that.

Plus, there are the pair of intercontinental playoff matches this June to determine the final World Cup participants.

Watch the FIFA World Cup draw

The draw takes place Friday, April 1, beginning at noon ET. It is in Doha, Qatar, the site of the many World Cup games. Coverage in the U.S. in in English on FS1 and in Spanish on Telemundo, Universo and Peacock Premium.

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How the draw works

While the 2026 World Cup tournament features 40 teams, Qatar 2022 will have 32 teams.

Four teams go in each of the eight different groups. The hosts of the World Cup are the only ones to be in a group before the other teams. As hosts, Qatar is part of Group A, and also partakes in the tournament-opening game.

In terms of the draw, FIFA places the highest-ranked qualifying teams based on the World Rankings in Pot 1. Then, the next highest-ranked teams put in Pot 2, and so on. Each of eight groups will have a team from Pot 1, Pot 2, Pot 3, and Pot 4.

The pots, despite the intention, can still create ‘groups of death’, which feature four strong sides. Breaking it down, some teams in Pot 1 are Belgium, Brazil and France, the top three teams in the FIFA World Rankings. Pot 2 includes good teams as well, such as the Netherlands, Denmark or the United States and Mexico, if the two latter sides qualify. Some of the lower ranked teams to qualify, including Iran, Japan and Serbia, go to Pot 3. Pot 4 consists of the lowest-ranked teams after the first three pots are filled.

To get the draw under the belt despite not all qualifying finishing, FIFA places Scotland, Ukraine and Wales in Pot 4 as one entrant. Only one of the trio qualifies for the World Cup. The eventual winner of the playoff already knows which group they will take part in at the draw.

Along with these three European sides, two qualifying matches in June round out the 32 teams. CONMEBOL’s fifth-placed team Perú plays the AFC fourth round playoff winner (either Australia or United Arab Emirates) in a one-off game. Similarly, CONCACAF’s fourth-placed team has a one-off game against the OFC winner, which will be either Solomon Islands or New Zealand.

Lastly, the 2022 World Cup schedule kicks off November 21 and plays through until the World Cup Final on December 18.

Photo credit: Matthew Ashton – AMA / Contributor