How UEFA World Cup qualifying playoffs schedule could change after FIFA suspends Russia

After the statement of Russia’s interruption from all rivalries by FIFA World Cup and UEFA in a joint decision, several antagonisms have been affected by the transfer.

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The most high-profile rivalry affected is the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 with Europe’s qualifying playoffs scheduled to take dwelling in late March. While 10 UEFA teams have confirmed places at the World Cup, there are still three more places to be resolute.

Russia was haggard against Poland in a four-team mini-bracket, with the winner of the support to earn a place in this winter’s FIFA World Cup. Russia was knocked to host the match against Poland and in case of conquest, it also would have hosted the playoff final against Sweden or the Czech Republic.

Now that Russia is postponed, decisions will need to be made on how to ensue. How UEFA elects to rearrange the antagonism will be of serious importance, as it will affect several other nations and their potential pathways to the Qatar World Cup.

There is probably a delay to this broadcast, as UEFA could wait and see if the skirmish in Ukraine is resolved, to possibly replace Russia before the March qualifiers. To know more about World Cup Tickets click here.

Russia is anticipated to appeal FIFA’s deferral to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, whose result could either delay or altogether argue the timeline for determining a new course of action for the FIFA World Cup playoff struggle.

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Below are four potential options UEFA could hunt to rework the brackets in Russia’s deficiency, once the need to do so becomes looming.

UEFA World Cup qualifiers schedule

Here is how the schedule is considered preceding Russia’s interruption and before any changes to format or schedule. That’s followed by four latent options to replace Russia (or not).

Poland advances via forfeit

The most candid option available to FIFA World Cup and UEFA would be to advance Poland to the final of the mini-bracket via a penalization victory over now-suspended Russia.

This would also give UEFA the most time to wait and see how the war in Ukraine evolutions, and if a steadfastness presents itself with the possibility of peace shortly.

It would epitomize the least provocative option given other potential decisions could be seen as subjective and produce a significant discussion.

But this would doubtless not be the reasonable option from a sporting perspective. Given that a Qatar World Cup berth is at the palisade, proceeding Poland to the final match would be a significant advantage over the other teams in the bracket (Sweden and Czech Republic).

Slovakia replaces Russia

If UEFA chooses that Poland must play a playoff semifinal match like Sweden and the Czech Republic, it could dip back into Group H, where Russia kaput second, and take the next best team: third-place finishers Slovakia.

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Slovakia completed eight points back of Russia in an aloof third (14 points), level with Slovenia on points, but ahead on goal disparity. They beat Russia at home 2-1 during the group stage in late March of last year.

This verdict could come under fire given how far Slovakia has done behind the top two teams. It would lead to a conversation arranged on more deserving teams for that spot.

However, it would be a satisfactory choice from a sporting standpoint given it validates the group stage matches and does not allow Poland a free pass to the playoff final.

Norway replaces Russia

This option is similar to the earlier method, but instead of restraining the selection to Group H (Russia’s qualifying group), it would broaden the opportunity a bit.

Norway ended as the best third-place team across the group stage, fading to qualify for the knockout round by a slim boundary.

Norway composed 18 points across Group G play (compared to Slovakia’s 14 points), finishing just three points behind second-placed Turkey, and nastily left out due to a final-day loss to the Netherlands that saw the Dutch score two goals in the final six minutes of the match.

While this selection would see the next most ‘deserving’ team from the group stage reach the triumph round based on overall record, it would still feel a bit flawed and seemingly bypass the group stage structure with what would be perceived as an illogical UEFA selection.

Hungary replaces Russia

Like the preceding two options, Hungary could also be given deliberation as the next Nations League group winner, using different criteria.

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Two spots in the smash rounds are given to Austria and the Czech Republic were bestowed via their Nations League finish as group winners. A pair of places were pre-assigned to the Nations League group winners that didn’t mechanically qualify via Qatar World Cup qualifying group placement.

With the Nations League clutch winners Italy, Belgium, France, and Spain all securing qualification either directly to the World Cup or the playoff phase via their FIFA World Cup qualifying group finish, Austria and the Czech Republic were the next group winners in line and they competent to the playoffs.

Hungary won the group that would be estimated next in line, and it just so happens the Hungarians vanquished Russia by three points to finish first. UEFA could pursue to give greater rank to the Nations League by picking Russia’s auxiliary from this competition before Qatar World Cup.

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