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World Cup Play-offs: Portugal, Italy in danger of missing Qatar showpiece

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Portugal or Italy will miss out on the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after they were drawn in the same path at the European play-offs draw on 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 Cristiano Ronaldo.

Italy finished as runners-up to Switzerland in the group stage of qualifying, while Portugal were pipped to the top spot in their group after a home defeat to Serbia.

Both teams have to go through the new play-offs system if they are to be at the finals in Qatar in a year’s time.

Read Also: Serbia stun Portugal to qualify for World Cup; Spain, Croatia land tickets too

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 last 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.

FULL DRAW

Wales or Austria vs Scotland or Ukraine

Russia or Poland vs Sweden or Czech Republic

Portugal or Turkey vs Italy or North Macedonia

Semi-finals due to be played 24 March, the final on the 29 March.

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