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No Ronaldo at the World Cup? Portugal handed horror play-off draw with Italy

Added 11-26-21 11:37:03am EST - “One of Italy or Portugal will not qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after the two European titans were drawn in the same section of the European play-offs for the event.” - Rt.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Rt.com: “No Ronaldo at the World Cup? Portugal handed horror play-off draw with Italy”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Both seeded for Friday's draw, reigning European Champions Italy and 2016 continental kings Portugal were placed in the same 'path', meaning they are on a potential collision course if they want to book a place in next year's showpiece.

Elsewhere, Russia will have to negotiate a semi-final with Poland before a potential final against Sweden or the Czech Republic in their section. 

The draw saw a new format for the European play-offs as 12 teams who failed to qualify automatically during the regular group-stage qualifying were divided into two sets of six – half of which were seeded and half of which weren’t.

The 12 teams were split into three ‘paths’, with the four teams in each path playing one-off semi-finals and then a final to determine which team from that section qualifies for Qatar.

Russia were among the seeded teams, and were also handed a home draw should they reach the final of their section. 

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