Scotland and Wales have both been handed home ties in the World Cup playoffs, with Scotland hosting Euro 2022 quarter finalists Austria and Wales facing fellow playoff debutants Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Should Scotland progress to round two of the playoffs, they will host the Republic of Ireland – who reached the World Cup playoffs for the first time in their history earlier in September – and if Wales get the better of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they will travel to Switzerland.
Portugal against Belgium completes the lineup for the first round of playoff fixtures. The winner will face Iceland at home in round two.
The one-legged playoff fixtures will take place on 6 October 2022.
Wales secured a World Cup playoff spot for the first time in their history thanks to a 0-0 draw with Slovenia in their final group game. Gemma Grainger’s side finished second in Group I behind France. They will face a Bosnia and Herzegovina side who are also looking to reach the World Cup for the very first time.
Scotland qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 2019, but missed out on a spot at Euro 2022. Pedro Martinez Losa’s side secured their playoff place back in June thanks to victory over Ukraine, finishing as Group B runners up behind Spain. They will face a tough task against an Austria side who impressed with their defensive resilience at Euro 2022.
The three victorious sides from the first round of playoffs will progress to a further one-legged playoff on 11 October, and will be joined by the three best runners up from the group stages of qualifying: Iceland, Republic of Ireland and Switzerland.
Of the three winners from the second round of playoff fixtures, the best two ranked sides – determined by performance in qualifying and the second playoff – will qualify for the 2023 World Cup.
The third-ranked European playoff winner will enter the inter-confederation playoffs, alongside Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Cameroon, Senegal, Haiti, Panama, Chile, Paraguay and Papua New Guinea. Three of the 10 teams from the playoff tournament will qualify for the 2023 World Cup. The inter-confederation playoffs take place from 18 to 23 February 2023.
The 2023 World Cup takes place in Australia and New Zealand between 20 July and 20 August.