When is the 2022 World Cup draw and which Brighton players are hoping to be involved

A host of Brighton & Hove Albion stars could be selected by their respective nations for the finals in Qatar.

Excitement is building for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar - and the draw for the showpiece event is just days away.

Thirty-two countries, including England and potentially Wales or Scotland, will battle it out to be crowned the greatest footballing nation on earth this winter.

The tournament has been moved from its traditional June/July slot to the winter due to the extreme heat in Qatar during the summer months.

France hold aloft the FIFA World Cup after beating Croatia in the final in Moscow in 2018. Picture by Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The 2022-23 Premier League campaign will halt over the winter to allow players to have seven days rest either side of the finals.

With the identities of most of the qualified nations confirmed, and the draw looming large, here is everything you need to know about the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

When is the draw?

The draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place on Friday, April 1 in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Brighton's Alexis Mac Allister could feature for Argentina in Qatar. Picture by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

The draw is expected to get underway at 5pm.

How can I watch the draw?

Both the BBC and Sky Sports are expected to provide live television coverage of the draw.

The BBC Sport website is also expected to live stream the draw. Details are expected to be confirmed nearer the time.

Albion's Jakub Moder started seven of Poland's ten European qualifiers and played the full 90 minutes of the play-off final victory over Sweden. Picture by Boris Streubel/Getty Images

FIFA will show the draw live on its official website and YouTube channel.

Who has qualified?

At the time of writing, 27 nations have qualified for this winter's tournament.

Africa: Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia

Brighton's Leandro Trossard played a key part in firing Belgium to Qatar. The winger netted two goals as the Red Devils finished top of their qualifying group. Picture by Kirill Kudryavtsev/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Asia: Iran, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and South Korea

Europe: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland

South America: Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Uruguay

North and Central America: Canada

Wales will face either Scotland or Ukraine in the final European play-off but that game has been put on hold.

The final was due to take place this week but Ukraine requested to postpone their semi-final after Russia's invasion.

FIFA plans to play Scotland v Ukraine and the play-off final at some point in June, although a date has not yet been confirmed.

The United Arab Emirates and Australia will meet in a one-legged Asian play-off on June 7. The winner of that tie will take on South America's fifth-placed team, Peru, on June 13 or 14 in a straight shootout for a place in Qatar.

The United States, Mexico and Costa Rica will fight it out for the final two North and Central American qualifying spots on Thursday morning.

The second-placed US and Mexico, in third, have 25 points, while Costa Rica sit three points behind.

Whoever finishes fourth will face Oceanian play-off winners New Zealand in a one legged tie on June 13 or 14.

How does the draw work?

The 32 nations are split into eight groups of four teams.

Teams from the same continent cannot be drawn in the same group as each other, with the exception of Europe. No more than two European nations can be drawn in the same group.

The top seeds, based on FIFA's world rankings, have been confirmed. Hosts Qatar, Belgium, France, Brazil, Argentina, England, Spain and Portugal will be placed in Pot 1.

The other three pots and seedings will be confirmed after this month's international break.

What are the key dates?

The opening match, which will feature the hosts Qatar, will be played on Monday, November 21.

The round of 16 begins on Saturday, December 3, while the quarter-finals starts six days later.

The semi-finals will be played on Tuesday, December 13 and Wednesday 14 respectively.

The third-place placed match will be played on Saturday, December 17, and the final will be played a day later.

What times will games be played?

The opening game of the tournament, which will be played at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, will kick-off at 10am GMT.

Four group matches will be played each day, with kick-off times of 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm, UK time, for the first two rounds, and 3pm and 7pm, UK time, for the simultaneous kick-offs of the last round and for knockout games.

The third-place play-off and the final, which will be held at the Khalifa International Stadium and Lusail Iconic Stadium respectively, will kick-off at 3pm UK time.

Which Brighton & Hove Albion players could be involved at the tournament?

A host of Seagulls could be selected by their respective nations for the finals in the Middle East.

Jakub Moder started seven of Poland's ten European qualifiers and played the full 90 minutes of the play-off final victory over Sweden on Tuesday evening.

Albion loanees Michał Karbownik and Kacper Kozłowski, who became the youngest player of any nationality to play at a UEFA European Championship last summer, could also feature for Poland.

Leandro Trossard played a key part in firing Belgium to Qatar. The winger netted two goals as the Red Devils finished top of their qualifying group.

Goalkeeper Robert Sánchez appeared once in qualifying for Spain, making his debut off the bench in the win over Georgia in November, but has been a mainstay in manager Luis Enrique's squads.

Alexis Mac Allister was recalled to the Argentina squad for the first time in two-and-half years for this month's South American qualifiers against Venezuela and Ecuador.

The 23-year-old started both games to strengthen his case to make the la Albiceleste's squad for Qatar.

Jeremy Sarmiento and Moisés Caicedo both played their part in helping Ecuador reach their first FIFA World Cup finals since 2014.

Both were handed their debuts during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying cycle, but the pair have since become staples of la Tri's team.

Seagulls loanee Kaoru Mitoma's double against Australia in Sydney sent Japan to their seventh consecutive FIFA World Cup last week.

The 24-year-old, who is on loan at Albion chairman Tony Bloom's Belgian club Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, has won three caps for the Blue Samurai.

Joël Veltman, meanwhile, is on the periphery of the Netherlands' squad. The defender hasn't been picked for his country since last summer's UEFA European Championships but has impressed for the Seagulls this season.

Forward Abdallah Sima, who joined Albion in the summer from Czech club Slavia Prague, has a slim chance of being selected for Senegal.

The 20-year-old, who has four caps for the Lions of Teranga, has been plagued by injuries this season. Sima has made just four appearances for loan club Stoke City since arriving in August.

And could the likes of Tariq Lamptey, Lewis Dunk or Adam Webster force their way into Gareth Southgate's plans?

A Brighton player hasn't played for England since Dunk won his one, and so far only, Three Lions cap back in 2018.

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