All 32 finalists for the 2022 World Cup have now been confirmed and the countdown to the finals can now begin in earnest. But, while the lucky competing nations ready their plans, a number of countries that participated in 2018 will be watching from the sidelines this year. While Italy were the headline failure during this year’s qualification process, the Azzurri weren’t present last time around either. But there were eight countries that played in Russia that won’t be taking part in 2022 and we’ve identified them here.
Colombia were one of the best things about Brazil 2014 – ‘Hamez’ Rodriguez, colourful fans and sexy football – and their 3-0 demolition of Poland four years later was one of the standout performances of the last World Cup.
Normally a World Cup staple, Nigeria were minutes away from reaching the knockout stages in Russia before a late Marcos Rojo winner sent Argentina through instead. And they won’t have the chance to make amends this year after losing to Ghana in March’s play-off.
The scourge of many fancied sides in the past, Sweden won’t be in Qatar after losing 2-0 to Poland in their play-off decider back in March.
Peru’s supporters were one the stories of the last World Cup. Having qualified for the first time since 1982, thousands of Peruvians were spotted in cities across Russia as they soaked up their nation’s moment in the spotlight.
Hosts in 2018, Russia were disqualified from this year’s competition following their invasion of Ukraine.
Africa’s most successful footballing nation has an unhappy relationship with the World Cup; Egypt have qualified on three occasions but haven’t won at the finals and lost all three matches in Russia last time.
Having made their debut at the last World Cup, Panama looked set to make their second appearance until a late collapse in CONCACAF qualifying allowed Costa Rica to pip them to the play-off place.