On Friday, 1 April, FIFA World Cup™ champions Cafu (Brazil) and Lothar Matthäus (Germany) will team up with six more assistants for the final draw to reveal the groups for the 2022 edition of football’s global showpiece.
The full line-up of assistants will also include Adel Ahmed MalAllah (Qatar), Ali Daei (IR Iran), Bora Milutinović (Serbia/Mexico), Jay-Jay Okocha (Nigeria), Rabah Madjer (Algeria) and Tim Cahill (Australia). The event will be staged at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center and will get underway at 19:00 local time (18:00 CET).
“I am getting used to this, but it still gives me goosebumps,” said Cafu, who will be taking part in a final draw for the third time after also playing in three successive FIFA World Cup final matches in 1994, 1998 and 2002, winning the trophy twice. “It is a sign that the World Cup is getting nearer. It is nearly 20 years since I became the last South American player to lift the World Cup and it is a memory I will always cherish. Playing at the World Cup, when your whole country comes to a standstill to watch the game, is incomparable.”
The other assistants also need little by way of introduction. Lothar Matthäus captained West Germany to victory in 1990. Jay-Jay Okocha was a playmaking midfielder who helped Nigeria qualify for their first FIFA World Cup in 1994 and won the Olympic title two years later, while Tim Cahill scored Australia’s first-ever FIFA World Cup finals goal against Japan in 2006 and also represented the Socceroos in 2010, 2014 and 2018. Bora Milutinović is the only coach to have managed at five consecutive editions of the FIFA World Cup with different teams: Mexico (1986), Costa Rica (1990), USA (1994), Nigeria (1998) and China PR (2002).
There will also be three famous faces from the Middle East world among the draw assistants for the first FIFA World Cup in the region. The host country will be represented by Adel Ahmed MalAllah. The former defender represented Qatar at the FIFA World Youth Championship in 1981, when they won the silver medal, and at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in 1984.
“I’m thrilled to be a draw assistant in my home country, and proud of Qatar. A FIFA World Cup in our region is a dream come true for every Arab footballer and football fan. This generation will make history on the pitch and we cannot wait to welcome the world here in just a few months’ time,” said MalAllah.
In 1982, Rabah Madjer set Algeria on their way to one of the biggest World Cup upsets in the tournament’s history when he scored the opening goal in his side’s 2-1 win over West Germany, whereas former IR Iran forward Ali Daei was the leading scorer in men’s international football until his remarkable tally of 109 goals was overhauled by Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo in September 2021.
The eight draw assistants will be supported by a conducting team comprised of two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup™ champion Carli Lloyd, football pundit and former England player Jermaine Jenas, and British-Jamaican sports presenter Samantha Johnson.
“It will be a great honour to experience the World Cup atmosphere again, this time as a draw conductor for the men’s tournament. As a fan, I’ve been closely following the qualifiers, and as a former player, I can’t wait to share the stage with such legends of the game,” said Lloyd.
Final Draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – draw assistants:
Adel Ahmed MalAllah
Final Draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – conducting team: