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African qualification format for 2026 World Cup unveiled

Published on: 18 May 2023

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) recently held a meeting in Algiers on May 18, 2023, where important decisions were made regarding CAF competitions. One of the significant decisions discussed was the format for the qualifiers of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

It was decided that the qualifiers would consist of nine groups, with each group containing six teams. The top nine teams from each group would secure direct qualification for the FIFA World Cup. However, an additional opportunity was introduced to determine the tenth representative from Africa.

The four best second-placed teams from the groups would participate in a playoff. The winner of this playoff would face a team from the CONCACAF zone for a chance to secure the tenth spot in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The qualification process was scheduled to take place from November 2023 to November 2025. The first and second matchdays were set to be played in November 2023, followed by the third and fourth matchdays in June 2024. From the fifth to the tenth matchday, matches would be held throughout the year 2025.

Furthermore, the draw for the Africa Cup of Nations 2023 tournament was scheduled to take place on July 12, 2023, a day before the ordinary general meeting of CAF in Cotonou.

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