Journey to SWC 2018 starts in October

2015-01-23 12:14
SWC trophy (File)

Cape Town - The African qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia will begin in October, while the road to the next African Nations Cup finals gets under way in June, the Confederation of African Football confirmed on Thursday.

The 52 African nations expected to enter the World Cup qualifiers will go through three preliminary rounds starting in nine months time after the draw in St Petersburg on July 25.

That will narrow the field down to the final 20 teams, who will be spilt into five groups each containing four sides, with the victors of those round-robin pools claiming a place at the finals.

CAF also confirmed the format of the qualification campaign for the next Nations Cup in 2017 that has yet to have a host after Libya was stripped of their status due to ongoing civil unrest in the country.

In a change from past tournaments, the host country will participate in the qualifying stages, though their matches will be considered friendlies and no points awarded.

The 52 nations will this time be divided into 13 groups containing four sides each, with the top team in each pool advancing to the finals, as well as the two best runners-up.

The exception will be the group of the host country, from which only one team will be eligible to advance.

The hosts for the 2017 finals will be known on April 8 after the CAF Ordinary General Assembly in Cairo. The draw for the qualification groups will be done directly after that announcement.

Read more on:    swc 2018  |  afcon 2017  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.