Isn’t it because of the Nations League? IIRC, UEFA normally played played four qualifying games (in a 6-team group) in the fall immediately after a Euro/WC (I don’t recall the exact split between Sept., Oct., and Nov., but it’s 4 total). Then 1 each in March and June of the next year, even though they could play two if they wanted. Then 2 in Sept. and 2 in Oct. Then playoffs in November. Now the Nations League uses up those four matchdays in the fall immediately after a tournament. So they need to move those four games. They move 1 to March, 1 to June that were being used for friendlies. The other 2 are moved to the earliest possible date of November. So, it’s not possible to play the playoffs until March 2022, since November is now used for the main WCQ groups. The other possibility is playing the playoffs in June 2022. I suppose you could do this and then have the WC draw in June after the playoffs. Normally there’s about 6 months from the draw in December to the WC. For 2022, a June draw would give you closer to 5 months before the WC, which isn’t too bad. Is that what you’re suggesting?