With over 95% of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers completed this week, attention will turn to the draw on Friday.
All you need to know ahead of Friday's draw as Okocha plays key role
Why is Nigeria missing from the draw? What time does the draw start? This guide answers all the questions
Before the draw on Friday, April 1 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) in Doha, Qatar, here are all the answers to questions you might have.
What time is the draw?
The draw will begin at 5 pm Nigerian time (7 pm local time) on Friday 1 April. Qatar is 2 hours ahead of Nigeria.
What teams are involved?
32 nations will be involved in the 2022 World Cup. For now, 29 of the 32 teams have qualified. Teams have been seeded for the draw based on the FIFA rankings released on March 31.
POT 1 (seeded teams): Qatar, Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, England, Spain, Portugal.
POT 2: Mexico, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Uruguay, Switzerland, USA, Croatia.
POT 3: Senegal, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Serbia, Poland, South Korea, Tunisia.
POT 4: Cameroon, Canada, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Wales/Scotland/Ukraine, Costa Rica/New Zealand, UAE/Australia/Peru.
Why is Nigeria missing from the list?
The Super Eagles will not be participating in the FIFA World Cup after they were held to a 1-1 draw by the Black Stars of Ghana in a second-leg playoff qualifier on Tuesday, March 31, 2022. Nigeria got knocked out on away goals (1-1 on aggregate) as the first leg in Kumasi had ended 0-0.
How does the draw work?
This World Cup will follow the same format as previous editions, where teams will be drawn into eight groups of four.
Hosts Qatar will be given position A1 from Pot 1 and the top seven ranked teams in the world who have qualified are the other top seeds in pot 1.
The draw will start with the teams in pot 1 and continue until pot 4. After a team is drawn out, a second ball will be drawn to decide which group they are in, between A to H.
Except for European countries, teams from the same continent cannot be placed in the same group. A group cannot have more than two European teams.
Why are three spots undecided?
Two of the remaining three spots go to the winners of the North America/Central America/Caribbean vs Oceania, and Asia vs South America intercontinental playoffs.
These games are Costa Rica vs New Zealand, UAE or Australia vs Peru. The third spot goes to the winner of the European play-off between Wales vs Scotland or Ukraine.
All playoff matches are to be decided by 13 or 14 June.
Who is doing the draw?
The draw will be conducted by eight former players and coaches, including World Cup winners Cafu of Brazil and Lothar Matthaus of Germany.
The others will be Jay-Jay Okocha, Tim Cahill, Adel Ahmed MalAllah, Ali Daei, Bora Milutinovic and Rabah Madjer.
Who asides from Nigeria is missing from the draw?
African giants Egypt: after being defeated by Senegal, will not be at the World Cup draw either, leaving Mohamed Salah as one of the most notable absentees from the World Cup later in the year. Algeria, and Ivory Coast also failed to qualify.
European champions Italy are also to miss the World Cup: their second absence in a row, after their play-off defeat by North Macedonia.
Russia also miss out after being kicked out of the play-offs following their country's invasion of Ukraine.
South American giants Colombia and Chile also failed to qualify.
When is the World Cup?
The World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar from November 21 to December 18, 2022.
This will be the first World Cup ever to be held in the Arab world, and it will be the second World Cup held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament was held in South Korea and Japan.