The first qualifying phase for the 2023 World Cup kicked off last November. In total, 80 teams from the five continents participate, of which 32 will participate in the World Cup.

The classification system

In the European zone, a total of 32 teams participate in this first phase, divided into 8 groups of 4 teams. Each group plays a league of all against all in two rounds (6 games, 3 at home and another three as visitors).

The top three teams from each group will advance to the second and final round, in which 24 teams divided into 4 groups of 6 teams will play. The top three in the group from Spain will join the top three from the group in which Russia, Italy, the Netherlands and Iceland now compete. In the second phase, the system will be identical: a double round robin, but each team will face only the three from the other group in the first phase. In total, again 6 games, 3 at home and another 3 as visitors, and the top three teams from each group will qualify for the 2023 World Cup, a total of 12 countries.

The results of the matches of the first phase will be carried over to the second, so that each team will start it with 4 recorded results. What gives enormous value to this first phase.

The third and last Window of this first phase –in which Spain will face North Macedonia and Georgia- will be played in July. And the three of the second phase will be played these next August and November, and the last one, in February 2023.

The World Cup 2023

At the same time as in Europe, it is also played in the areas of Africa, America and Asia-Oceania. In the 2023 World Cup, which will be held in Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia, 32 teams will participate: Africa (5), America (7), Asia-Oceania (8, including Japan and the Philippines) and Europe (12). Japan and the Philippines are guaranteed places as host countries; the third organizer, Indonesia, will only qualify after finishing in the top 8 for the Asia Cup that will be played this coming July, precisely in Indonesia.