Cape Town - The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has
changed the format for the 2022 Qatar Soccer World Cup qualifying process - which will
see African teams contesting a final playoff round - a system used for the
Russia 2014 World Cup tournament.
For the next competition, the qualifiers will be divided
into three rounds – the first two contested by all the teams with the last one
featuring the last 10 standing.
THE NEW FORMAT:
28 teams (ranked 27–54) will play home-and-away over two
The 14 winners will advance to the second round.
40 teams (teams ranked 1–26 and 14 first-round winners) will
be divided into 10 groups of four teams to play home-and-away round-robin
The 10 group winners will advance to the third round
*Bafana Bafana will
feature from this stage
The 10 teams, which will have advanced from the second
round, will play home-and-away over two legs.
The five winners will qualify for the World Cup.
All 54 FIFA-affiliated football associations from CAF will
Libya was threatened with exclusion from the qualifiers if
it failed to pay debts to their former coach Javier Clemente.
However, Libya complied after FIFA gave them a new deadline.
Sierra Leone also faced possible exclusion from the
qualifiers due to the suspension of their football association - however, the
suspension was lifted by the FIFA Council on 3 June 2019.
Africa has five qualifying slots
Provisional dates for the qualifying process extend from
October 2019 through to November 2021.
The draw for African qualifiers is expected to be at the end
The allocation of slots for each confederation was discussed
by the FIFA Executive Committee on 30 May 2015 in Zürich after the FIFA
The committee decided that the same allocation as used in 2006, 2010
and 2014 would be kept for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments:
CAF (Africa): 5
AFC (Asia): 4 or 5
UEFA (Europe): 13
CONCACAF (North and Central America and the Caribbean): 3 or
OFC (Oceania): 0 or 1
CONMEBOL (South America): 4 or 5
Hosts: 1 (Qatar)