Italy and Portugal cannot both qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The superpowers were placed in the same path during the draw of the European play-offs on Friday, so that one of the countries will be missing from the global final tournament.

Italy will face North Macedonia in the semi-finals of pad C, while Portugal will face Turkey in the same pad.

Should both Italy and Portugal win the semifinals, they will face each other in the final.

The play-offs consist of three paths of four countries, with the winner going to the World Cup.

Two semi-finals and a final will be played in each path.

All duels are about one match only.

The semifinals of the play-offs are scheduled for March 24 and 25 next year.

The finals will be played three days later.

The World Cup in Qatar will start on November 21, 2022 and the final is on December 18, 2022.

Italy missed out on a group win in the World Cup qualifying series earlier this month after a goalless draw in and against Northern Ireland.

Competitor Switzerland beat Bulgaria 4-0 and secured a direct qualification for the World Cup.

Portugal lost in a direct confrontation for group win against Serbia from captain Dusan Tadic and has therefore been sentenced to the play-offs.