Early miles of African marathon to Qatar laid out
The African race for places at Qatar 2022 has begun
28 nations are involved in the first round
The 14 head-to-head winners to join 26 exempted teams in next phase
After Asia got the ball rolling last month, Africa has now set its sights on the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™. Just ten days after Algeria triumphed at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2019, the continent staged its draw for the first round of qualifying for football’s flagship event.
FIFA.com fills you in on all you need to know about how the draw panned out.
The qualification process
Only 28 of the continent’s teams – those ranked lowest in July’s edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – were involved in the draw. Those sides were paired off for home-and-away knockout fixtures - to be played between 2-10 September.
The 14 winners will join the continent’s top-ranked 26 sides, who have been exempted from the initial round of qualifiers. Those 40 teams will then be split into ten groups of four for the second qualifying round.
The ten winners of those groups will then be drawn against each other in home-and-away fixtures, with the five victors advancing to Qatar 2022.