Although the 2022 World Cup’s host, Qatar, will gain the automatic qualification, they are invited to take part in Group A of the European qualifying group, alongside Portugal, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Luxembourg, and the Republic of Ireland.
Since the results from the European sides’ fixtures against
will not be counted towards the group standings, the arrangement will provide the Asian champions with a series of friendly fixtures against European sides in favor of Qataris’ preparation for their first-ever World Cup participation.
Qatar’s participation in the European qualification round won’t disturb the prefixed schedule, as some
groups already consist of six teams.
Qatar also confirmed that
LGBTQ+ rainbow flags
are allowed to be displayed inside stadiums, though same-sex relations are prohibited in the Muslim-majority nation.
"When it comes to the rainbow flags in the stadiums, FIFA have their own guidelines, they have their rules and regulations,"
2022 World Cup chief executive
told the AP.
"Whatever they may be, we will respect them."