World Cup 2022: England draw Iran and USA – and wait on Wales, Scotland or Ukraine | World Cup 2022

England were handed a favourable draw for the 2022 World Cup as they were paired with United States and Iran. Scotland or Wales will join them in Group B if they qualify through the playoffs.

Gareth Southgate’s side will face Iran – whom they have never met at senior level – in their first match on 21 November before another World Cup meeting with the USA on 25 November. Their final match on 29 November will be against the qualifiers from the remaining European spot that is still to be determined, with Scotland and Wales in contention with Ukraine.

Scotland’s playoff was originally scheduled for 24 March but was postponed last month after Russia invaded Ukraine. The tie is due to take place in June, with the winners facing Wales in Cardiff.

The winners Group B could face France in the quarter-finals after the world champions were drawn in Group D with Denmark, Tunisia and the winners of the playoff between Peru and the United Arab Emirates or Australia.

Qatar were handed a difficult group that includes the Netherlands, the African champions Senegal and Ecuador, whom the hosts will meet in the opening match on 21 November. That will take place at the Al Bayt Stadium, 35 kilometres from the capital, Doha, with precise venues for all other fixtures to be determined.

World Cup Groups E, F, G and H are shown on the giant screen
World Cup Groups E, F, G and H are shown on the giant screen. Photograph: Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Elsewhere, the 2010 winners, Spain, were paired with the 2014 winners, Germany, in Group E along with Japan and the winners of the playoff between Costa Rica and New Zealand, while the five-time winners Brazil will be in Group G with Switzerland and Serbia, having been drawn with both countries in 2018.

Quick Guide

World Cup draw in full


Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Netherlands, Senegal

Group B: England, Iran, USA, Scotland/Wales/Ukraine

Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland

Group D: France, UAE/Australia/Peru, Denmark, Tunisia

Group E: Spain, Costa Rica/New Zealand, Germany, Japan

Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia

Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon

Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea

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The draw – presented by Idris Elba, Reshmin Chowdhury and Jermaine Jenas – opened with a message in Arabic from the Egyptian actor Sherihan. “We welcome the entire world with open arms,” she said.

Fifa’s president, Gianni Infantino, said: “This World Cup will simply be the best World Cup ever, the greatest show on Earth. The world will be united in Qatar.”

This will be the first World Cup hosted by an Arab or Muslim country, although the decision to award the tournament to Qatar in December 2010 has been heavily criticised since over human rights concerns.

England drew 1-1 with the USA in their opening match at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and will face Gregg Berhalter’s side in their second match. England have enjoyed favourable draws in recent tournaments but ended up second behind Belgium in their group in Russia four years ago after beating Tunisia and Panama in their first two matches.

Southgate’s side went on to lose their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 after taking an early lead against Croatia in Moscow.

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