Soccer-World Cup intercontinental playoffs to be single leg games

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - 2022 World Cup - African Qualifiers Draw - Nile Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Cairo, Egypt - January 21, 2020 General view of the FIFA World Cup Trophy REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - The intercontinental playoffs to qualify for next year's World Cup finals will be contested as single games rather than the usual two-legged, home and away format, FIFA said on Friday.

The playoffs will feature the highest placed teams not to have automatically qualified from Africa, Asia, South America and the CONCACAF (North and Central America and Caribbean) regions.

Four nations will compete for two spots in the finals which will be held in November 2022 in Qatar.

The playoffs were originally scheduled to take place over two legs in March 2022 but were rescheduled to June 2022 due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on the qualifying schedule.

The games will be played at a neutral venue which is yet to be determined by soccer's global governing body.

The draw for the games will take place on Friday, following the draw for the European qualification playoffs.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Shrivathsa Sridhar)

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