African road becoming clearer

Following the draw for the South Africa 2010 preliminary competition, FIFA has confirmed the dates and format of the qualifying matchdays for each of the 12 groups.

Matchday 1 - 30, 31 May or 1 June 2008: T1-T2, T3-T4 *
Matchday 2 - 6, 7 or 8 June 2008: T2-T3, T4-T1
Matchday 2 - 13, 14 or 15 June 2008: T4-T2, T3-T1
Matchday 4 - 20, 21 or 22 June 2008: T2-T4, T1-T3
Matchday 5 - 5, 6 or 7 September 2008: T2-T1, T4-T3
Matchday 6 - 10, 11 or 12 October 2008: T3-T2, T1-T4
* T1 = team 1 from each group, T2 = team 2...

Consequently, the dates of some major Matchday One encounters can already be noted, such as Nigeria-South Africa (Gr.4), Senegal-Algeria (Group 6) and Togo-Zambia (Group 11), while a week later the Lions of Teranga will travel to Gambia. Mali, however, will not play host to Sudan until Matchday Four (Group 10). Naturally, all of these clashes can be followed live on FIFA.com.

The winners of each group will qualify for the next round, along with the eight best second-placed sides. The order of the criteria for separating the sides is as follows: points, goal difference, goals scored. If any two teams still cannot be separated, a play-off will take place on 19 November 2008.

View the full match schedule as a PDF, by clicking on the link to the right hand side.