FIFA aims to make World Cup tournament draw on April 1

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA is set to make the 2022 World Cup finals tournament draw in Qatar on April 1 — with two of the qualifying teams still unknown because of match schedule delays in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The draw ceremony plan was announced Wednesday by FIFA President Gianni Infantino after March 31 was selected as the date to stage, in Doha, the soccer body’s annual congress of 211 member federations.

Just 30 of the 32 qualifying slots for the Nov. 21-Dec. 18 tournament are due to be finalized by the end of March. Only Germany and Denmark have so far confirmed their places alongside host Qatar.

Two places are scheduled to be decided in June at intercontinental playoffs which had to be pushed back from March.

Those games will involve one team from each of Asia, the North American region CONCACAF, Oceania and South America.

FIFA had to create an extra week in the congested calendar for World Cup qualifying games next January because most continents needed to clear their backlog.

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