CAF approves new format for World Cup 2026 African qualifiers

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 19 May 2023

The Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has approved the format for the World Cup 2026 African qualifiers.



According to a statement released by CAF on Friday, the new format for the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers will involve all 54 member associations of CAF, who will be divided into nine groups.

The format has been adapted to align with FIFA’s expanded World Cup format.

The winners of each group will automatically qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2026.

The four best runners-up from the groups will play in the CAF Play-Off Tournament, and the winner of that tournament will play in the FIFA Play-off Tournament.

The official draw for the FIFA World Cup 2026 African qualifiers will take place on 12 July 2023 in Cotonou, Benin, the night before the 45th CAF Ordinary General Assembly.

AFCON 2023 finals draw date

CAF also announced that the official draw for the Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023 will be conducted on 12 October 2023.

The 34th edition of the AFCON 2023 will take place from 13 January 2024, until 11 February.

The AFCON 2023 qualifiers are almost complete, and eight nations have already secured their place in the competition: Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Tunisia and African champions Senegal.

This will be Cote d’Ivoire's second time hosting the tournament, after Cameroon won the competition when it was held there in 1984.

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