Qatar World Cup 2022 qualifier draw

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ZURICH (Reuters) – World champions France were handed an apparently comfortable draw in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers when they were placed with Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia and Kazakhstan in European Group D on Monday.

The French recently beat Ukraine 7-1 in a friendly although their opponents were weakened by COVID-19 related absences.

Old rivals England and Poland will face each other again as they were placed in Group I while Spain must get past Sweden, who qualified for the 2018 World Cup at the expense of Italy, in Group B.

Italy themselves must face Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Lithuania in Group C.

Malta was drawn in the toughest of groups, Group H, which includes Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, and Cyprus.

The winners of the 10 groups qualify directly, while the 10 runners-up go into a play-off system along with two teams from the Nations League. Three of those 12 teams also qualify.

The teams drawn were allocated to groups in alphabetical order, from Group A to Group J (i.e. the first team drawn was allocated to Group A, the second team to Group B and so forth). When a draw constraint applied, the team drawn was allocated to the first available group in alphabetical order as indicated by the draw constraint programme.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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