England and the United States of America have been drawn together to play at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
Both sides could also face Scotland or Wales if either of those sides emerge victorious from their European play-off path in June, which also involves Ukraine.
England will play Iran in their opening match on Monday November 21, with the USA playing their first match later that day. England and the USA will meet on November 25.
Group E would appear to be the ‘group of death’, with European heavyweights Spain and Germany drawn together. Japan have also been drawn in the group, which will include the winners of a play-off between Costa Rica and New Zealand.
The World Cup will begin on November 21 with host nation Qatar hosting Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. The final will take place on December 18 at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail.
Qatar 2022 is the first World Cup ever to be held in the Arab world, but the tournament has already proven controversial.
And on Thursday, the day before the draw, Qatar’s right to stage the tournament was questioned during the FIFA Congress, with the president of the Norwegian federation saying there was “no room” for hosts who could not legally guarantee the safety of LGBTQI+ people.
“Football for boys and girls, all colours, straight and queer,” Lise Klaveness said in Doha. “In 2010, World Cups were awarded by FIFA in unacceptable ways with unacceptable consequences. Human rights, equality, democracy, the core interests of football, were not in the starting XI until many years later.”
But current FIFA president Gianni Infantino — who described the FIFA regime which awarded Qatar the World Cup back in 2010 as a “toxic organisation” — defended the decision, insisting progress has been made in the country.
“When it comes to the Qatar World Cup, a decision has been taken. Twelve years ago I was far from the happenings of FIFA,” he said. “We have organised the best World Cup ever here in Qatar. And in any case, you know, we shouldn’t go back, we should look forward, we should go look at all the changes that have happened in this country, in terms of human rights and workers’ rights and so on.”