Qatar 2022: FIFA rules for group stage qualification, if teams finish on equal points. Conditions for each team and what they must accomplish to advance to the Round of 16 emerge as the World Cup group stage in Qatar reaches its climax.
As the race to be named world champions on December 18 continues, the last round of Group Stage matches will start on Tuesday. The early front-runners for victory are Brazil, France, and Spain, but 2014 winners Germany kept their chances alive by holding off Luis Enrique’s team to rescue a draw.
It is well-known that the top two nations from each of the eight groups advance to the next stage of the competition. However, as there have been some shock results, the possibility remains that some groups may require a tiebreaker should teams, including England and Wales, finish equal on points.
FIFA rules for group stage qualification
- Points obtained in all group matches
- Goal difference in all group matches
- Number of goals scored in all group matches
- Points obtained in the match played between the teams in question
- Goal difference in the matches played between the teams in question
- Number of goals scored in the match played between the teams in question
- Fair play points in all group matches
- Drawing of lots
Points obtained in all group matches
The simplest possible approach of making decisions. At the conclusion of matchday three, if the first- and second-placed nations have more points than the third- and fourth-placed nations, they will advance to the next round.
Goal difference in all group matches
Other conditions must now be used as teams start to end with the same point totals in the rankings.
Goal differential then has the last word, as is the case in the Premier League or the Championship, for instance. The nation with the superior record will position higher in the group when the number of goals allowed is subtracted from the total number of goals scored.
Number of goals scored in all group matches
If teams finish on equal points and goal difference then goals scored will be the deciding factor. The team who has scored the most goals across all three group games stays in the competition.
Points obtained in the match played between the teams in question
Goal difference in the matches played between the teams in question
The head-to-head record might bring joy or sorrow to a nation as their World Cup chances are on the line in light of the unexpected group stage outcomes.
Here is a summary of the process.
If two teams have identical records, the Round of 16 place goes to the club that won their group matchup.
If three teams finish identical – Matches between the three contenders can’t be used to decide at this point. Instead, results of all three against the fourth team from the group will have to be discounted from the final standings, and the three-team group that is created is decided in descending order again going through points, goal difference and goals scored.
UEFA have started to implement similar measures in recent seasons in place of goal difference in their elite club competitions.
Number of goals scored in the match played between the teams in question
Number of goals scored in the match played between the teams in question.
If four teams finish identical – Head-to-head records will not work in this unlikely scenario, so must find another way to be settled.
Fair play points in all group matches
The fair play records are then taken into account if teams are still unable to be separated using any of the first four strategies. At the 2018 World Cup, Japan advanced from Group H at Senegal’s cost, marking the only time this has ever happened.
It is worked out as follows:
Yellow card – minus one point
Indirect red card – minus 3 points
Direct red card – minus 4 points
Yellow card and direct red card – minus 5 points
The team with the highest total after separating the tied nations’ final point totals earns a spot in the competition’s next round.
Drawing of lots
A draw is made by a member of the World Cup organizing committee from a neutral country, and the lucky winner goes through.
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