Have Russia and Ukraine qualified for World Cup 2022 in Qatar?

Following the turmoil that unfolded in Eastern Europe, which plunged the region into disarray, both Russia and Ukraine were slated to engage in qualifying matches in March, with the aim of ascertaining their eligibility for participation in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

More: Complete list of 32 teams that have qualified for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

Russia, who qualified as the host of the 2018 World Cup, missed out on securing an automatic spot in the 2022 tournament after finishing in second place in their qualifying group.

Despite picking up 22 points from 10 games, Valeri’s side, led by Karpin, were edged out in the race for the top spot by Croatia, suffering a 1-0 defeat on the final day in Split, confirming Russia’s runner-up spot and settling for a berth in the World Cup playoffs.

Ukraine also found themselves in the regional European playoffs, similarly finishing second in Group A after defending World Cup champion France with 12 points from eight games.

In the event of nations in dispute, a “forbidden team confrontation” regulation employed by FIFA failed to bring the two nations together in the playoffs.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, FIFA banned the Russians from the World Cup and the playoffs, granting Poland a direct pass to the final. In the final, Poland defeated Sweden to secure a place in Qatar 2022 amidst international criticism.

The Russian football authorities challenged that ruling, but their argument was dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Many players from the national team faced a dilemma when the Ukrainian league’s domestic trade affected their ability to participate. The fixture, originally scheduled for March 24th against Scotland, was postponed to June 1st to allow time for the logistics and formation of a team given the state of the country.

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Gareth Bale’s dream of winning the World Cup was ultimately shattered when Scotland defeated them 1-0 in Cardiff in the 34th minute, but they were subsequently beaten by Ukraine.

Oleksandr Zinchenko, who moved from Manchester City to Arsenal in the summer transfer window, had previously expressed his hope that reaching the World Cup finals would be a “dream” for Ukraine. However, unfortunately, it did not happen.

He informed Sky Sports, “However, that is the nature of football, it is a possibility. You cannot hold the players responsible, each and every one of them exerted maximum effort on the field. I also sympathize with [the nation] and fans from all over the globe who showed their support for us.”

Everyone needs peace in their lives. We all need to stop war, and we should never know what is going to happen. Russian aggression can occur with any country, but today it is Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Proposal to Host the 2030 World Cup

Despite not having qualified for the showpiece tournament, Ukraine is still in the headlines for bidding to co-host the 2030 World Cup after Qatar confirmed it as the host for the 2022 edition.

On October 5, Ukraine was formally included as a third member of that group. Moreover, during an international friendly match between the two teams, the announcement was officially made through a statement, initially declaring the joint bid of Spain and Portugal in October 2020.

Confirmed: Ukraine joins Spain and Portugal for joint World Cup bid: pic.twitter.com/Ns2cmjVftD

Given the long-lasting conflict with Russia, which is devastating Ukraine’s infrastructure and economy, that statement has naturally caused suspicion.

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In Uruguay, the first-ever World Cup was held 100 years ago. To see the tournament return to its roots, a combined bid involving Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay has been declared. Additionally, Morocco is also running for the opportunity to bring the tournament to North Africa in 2030.

Greece and Egypt, along with Saudi Arabia, are considered to be the most likely candidates among the other South American bids to win the rights to host the four-way competition. This would be Greece and Egypt’s second bid to host the event, while Saudi Arabia would be bidding to host for the first time.

FIFA is anticipated to make a decision in 2024.

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