All Whites go into World Cup finals draw on Saturday — here’s how it works

New Zealand learn on Saturday their opponents at November’s FIFA World Cup finals should the All Whites beat Costa Rica in June’s inter-confederation play-off.

With 30 countries already confirmed for the finals, FIFA will draw the eight groups for the Qatar finals on Saturday at 4am (NZT).

Two placeholders in the draw will be for the winner of New Zealand/Costa Rica and the other for the still-to-be decided remaining qualifier from UEFA.

(The remaining UEFA playoff path was delayed till June after Ukraine were allowed to postpone their semi-final against Scotland due to Russia’s invasion of the country.)

Main photo: The All Whites celebrate winning the Oceania qualifying tournament. Image: OFC Media.

Here’s your guide to how the draw will work

How to share in the excitement

The draw will be streamed live on the website, and also on FIFA’s social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

How the draw works

The organisers split the 32 entries into four seeded pots with the exception of Qatar. The rules say two countries from the same confederation can not be drawn against each other, with the exception of Europe which has 13 qualifying nations and can not avoid a clash.

Five of the eight groups will contain a maximum of two teams from UEFA.

Countries go into each pot based on their current FIFA world rankings (due to be updated on Friday).

New Zealand was ranked 111th before the Oceania series so is likely to have moved up the table.

Qatar will become position 1 in Pot 1 to ensure they play the opening game in Group A, as is the tradition for host nations.

The rest of the groups will be selected by choosing one team from each pot.

A computer will signal if any draw conditions are breached, such as having too many UEFA teams in a group or if two are drawn from the same confederation.

Confused? No matter, it will all be part of the drama on Saturday.

Who has qualified


Germany, Denmark, Belgium, France, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal.

Plus one team to come from remaining games in which the winner of Scotland v Ukraine will play Wales for the 13th UEFA spot.

South America

Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay


Canada, United States, Mexico


Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon


Qatar (as hosts), IR Iran, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Japan.

South America/Asia

Australia play United Arab Emirates in a one-off play-off on June 8 (NZT). The winner will play Peru a week later for a place at the finals.


Winner of New Zealand v Costa Rica play-off

When do the finals start?

The tournament kicks off on Tuesday November 22 (NZT) at the Al Bayt Stadium.

When’s the final?

The final will be played on Monday December 19 (NZT) at the Lusail Stadium in Doha.

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