Following Monday's Qualifying Draw for the European Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2020, hosts Qatar have been placed in Qualifying Group A as a "guest team" by UEFA, to help them prepare for the tournament.
Qatar will play friendly games against Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg and Azerbaijan. As hosts they have already qualified for the tournament, meaning results will not count towards qualification and they have not officially joined the group. Qatar's "home" matches will be played in Europe to allow short travel times for their opponents.
Qatar are currently ranked 55th in FIFA's world rankings, and the 2022 World Cup will be their first appearance at the tournament.
A precedent was set ahead of Euro 2016 when host nation France played friendly matches during the qualifying stages against teams placed in a 5-team group. Qatar also participated in the Copa America in 2019. they drew with Paraguay and lost to Argentina and Colombia to finish bottom of Group B. They may be invited back to the 2020 Copa America being played in Argentina and Colombia. Qatar will also be invited to participate in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup as one of 13 teams that are currently guaranteed a spot in the 16-team group stage of the competition