2026 WORLD CUP FOOTBALL

FIFA™ | United States of America, Canada & Mexico

2026 World Cup | Qualification CAF

World Cup Football Qualifiers Africa
Pro Shots / Panoramic

In FIFA Zone CAF, the qualification for the FIFA World Cup is scheduled from November 13, 2023 to November 18, 2025. In Africa, the 2026 World Cup qualifiers consist of two rounds: the group stage (Round 1) and the African play-offs. This is followed by the FIFA intercontinental play-offs. A total of 54 FIFA / CAF countries will participate in the African World Cup football qualifiers. Nine to ten of these African countries qualify for the final round. They will be among a record 48 teams taking part in the finals of the 2026 World Cup football in North America. The schedule and the groups of the qualification of the CAF countries for the FIFA World Cup soccer, with all matches, dates, times, and locations, are listed here.

  • 54 countries participate in the African qualifiers;
  • Round 1 | November 13, 2023 – October 14, 2025
    54 participants play in nine groups of six. The nine group winners qualify directly. The four best runners-up continue in the African play-offs;
  • Round 2, CAF play-offs | November 10-18, 2025
    The four participants play in a mini tournament including semi-finals and a final. The winner takes part in the FIFA Intercontinental play-offs;
  • Intercontinental play-offs | November, 2025
    One more CAF country may qualify;
  • Nine to ten CAF countries will be part of the 2026 World Cup schedule.

Round 1 | World Cup football qualifiers Africa

November 13, 2023 – October 14, 2025

From the round-robin CAF qualifying round consisting of nine groups, all nine group winners will directly qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. In addition, one country from Africa may advance to the cross-continental play-offs.

Standings

GROUP ACAF ROUND 1PWDLPTSGD
1Egypt220068-0
2Guinea-Bissau211042-1
3Burkina Faso211044-1
4Sierra Leone201110-2
5Ethiopia201110-3
6Djibouti200200-7
GROUP BCAF ROUND 1PWDLPTSGD
1Senegal211044-0
2Sudan211042-1
3Congo DR210132-1
4Togo202021-1
5Mauritania201110-2
6South Sudan201110-4
GROUP CCAF ROUND 1PWDLPTSGD
1Rwanda211042-0
2South Africa210132-3
3Nigeria202022-2
4Lesotho202021-1
5Zimbabwe202021-1
6Benin201111-2
GROUP DCAF ROUND 1PWDLPTSGD
1Cameroon211044-1
2Libya211042-1
3Cape Verde211042-0
4Angola202020-0
5Mauritius201110-3
6Eswatini200200-3
GROUP ECAF ROUND 1PWDLPTSGD
1Morocco110032-0
2Niger210132-2
3Tanzania210131-2
4Zambia210135-4
5Congo100102-4
Eritrea withdrawn
GROUP FCAF ROUND 1PWDLPTSGD
1Côte d’Ivoire2200611-0
2Gabon220064-2
3Kenya210136-2
4Burundi220134-4
5The Gambia200202-5
6Seychelles200200-14
GROUP GCAF ROUND 1PWDLPTSGD
1Algeria220065-1
2Mozambique210133-4
3Botswana210133-3
4Guinea210132-2
5Uganda210132-2
6Somalia200201-4
GROUP HCAF ROUND 1PWDLPTSGD
1Tunisia220065-0
2Equatorial Guinea220062-0
3Namibia210132-1
4Malawi210131-1
5Liberia200200-2
6Sao Tome e Principe200200-6
GROUP ICAF ROUND 1PWDLPTSGD
1Comoros220065-2
2Mali211044-2
3Ghana210131-1
4Madagascar210133-1
5Central African Republic201113-5
6Chad200201-6

Fixtures

  • Matchday 1: 13-21 November, 2023
  • Matchday 2: 13-21 November, 2023
  • Matchday 3: 3-11 June, 2024
  • Matchday 4: 3-11 June, 2024
  • Matchday 5: 17-25 March, 2025
  • Matchday 6: 17-25 March, 2025
  • Matchday 7: 1-9 September, 2025
  • Matchday 8: 1-9 September, 2025
  • Matchday 9: 6-14 October, 2025
  • Matchday 10: 6-14 October, 2025
  • Matchday CAF play-offs: November, 2025
Match round 1TIME (UTC+1)MATCHGROUPRESULT
15.11.202314:00Rwanda – ZimbabweC0-0
15.11.202314:00Equatorial Guinea – NamibiaH1-0
15.11.202317:00Congo DR – MauritaniaB2-0
15.11.202320:00Ethiopia – Sierra LeoneA0-0
16.11.202314:00Burundi – GambiaF3-2
16.11.202314:00Botswana – MozambiqueG2-3
16.11.202317:00Sudan – TogoB1-1
16.11.202317:00Egypt – DjiboutiA6-0
16.11.202317:00Gabon – KenyaF2-1
16.11.202317:00Algeria – SomaliaG3-1
16.11.202317:00Nigeria – LesothoC1-1
16.11.202320:00Cabo Verde – AngolaD0-0
00:00Morocco – Eritrea Eritrea withdrawn
17.11.202314:00Eswatini – LibyaD0-1
17.11.202314:00Comoros – Central African RepublicI4-2
17.11.202314:00Guinea – UgandaG2-1
17.11.202317:00Liberia – MalawiH0-1
17.11.202317:00Zambia – CongoE4-2
17.11.202317:00Ghana – MadagascarI1-0
17.11.202320:00Cameroon – MauritiusD3-0
17.11.202320:00Tunisia – São Tomé and PríncipeH4-0
17.11.202320:00Burkina Faso – Guinea-BissauA1-1
17.11.202320:00Mali – ChadI3-1
17.11.202320:00Côte d’Ivoire – SeychellesF9-0
18.11.202314:00South Africa – BeninC2-1
18.11.202317:00Niger – TanzaniaE0-1
18.11.202320:00Senegal – South SudanB4-0
Match round 2TIME (UTC+1)MATCHGROUPRESULT
19.11.202314:00Zimbabwe – NigeriaC1-1
19.11.202314:00Burundi – GabonF1-2
19.11.202314:00Mozambique – AlgeriaG0-2
19.11.202317:00Sierra Leone – EgyptA0-2
19.11.202317:00Sudan – Congo DRB1-0
20.11.202314:00Djibouti – Guinea-BissauA0-1
00:00Eritrea – Congo Eritrea withdrawn
20.11.202317:00Gambia – Côte d’IvoireF0-2
20.11.202317:00Liberia – Equatorial GuineaH0-1
20.11.202320:00Seychelles – KenyaF0-5
20.11.202320:00Chad – MadagascarI0-3
20.11.202320:00Mali – Central African RepublicI1-1
21.11.202314:00Rwanda – South AfricaC2-0
21.11.202314:00Lesotho – BeninC0-0
21.11.202314:00Eswatini – Cabo VerdeD0-2
21.11.202314:00Malawi – TunisiaH0-1
21.11.202314:00Botswana – GuineaG1-0
21.11.202314:00Somalia- UgandaG0-1
21.11.202317:00South Sudan – MauritaniaB0-0
21.11.202317:00Togo – SenegalB0-0
21.11.202317:00Mauritius – AngolaD0-0
21.11.202317:00São Tomé and Príncipe – NamibiaH0-2
21.11.202317:00Comoros – GhanaI1-0
21.11.202317:00Libya – CameroonD1-1
21.11.202320:00Ethiopia – Burkina FasoA0-3
21.11.202320:00Tanzania – MoroccoE0-2
21.11.202320:00Niger – ZambiaE2-1
Match round 3TIME (local)MATCHGROUPRESULT
03-11 06.202400:00Egypt – Burkina FasoA
03-11 06.202400:00Guinea Bissau – EthiopiaA
03-11 06.202400:00Sierra Leone – DjiboutiA
03-11 06.202400:00Togo – South SudanB
03-11 06.202400:00Mauritania – SudanB
03-11 06.202400:00Senegal – D.R. CongoB
03-11 06.202400:00Benin – RwandaC
03-11 06.202400:00Nigeria – South AfricaC
03-11 06.202400:00Zimbabwe – LesothoC
03-11 06.202400:00Cameroon – Cape VerdeD
03-11 06.202400:00Angola – EswatiniD
03-11 06.202400:00Libya – MauritiusD
03-11 06.202400:00Morocco – ZambiaE
03-11 06.202400:00Congo – NigerE
03-11 06.202400:00Match Eritrea cancelledE
03-11 06.202400:00Ivory Coast – GabonF
03-11 06.202400:00Kenya – BurundiF
03-11 06.202400:00Gambia – SeychellesF
03-11 06.202400:00Algeria – GuineaG
03-11 06.202400:00Uganda – BotswanaG
03-11 06.202400:00Mozambique – SomaliaG
03-11 06.202400:00Tunisia – Equatorial GuineaH
03-11 06.202400:00Namibia – LiberiaH
03-11 06.202400:00Malawi – Sao Tome and PrincipeH
03-11 06.202400:00Central Africa – ChadI
03-11 06.202400:00Madagascar – ComorosI
03-11 06.202400:00Mali – GhanaI
Match round 4TIME (local)MATCHGROUPRESULT
03-11 06.202400:00Burkina Faso – Sierra LeoneA
03-11 06.202400:00Djibouti – EthiopiaA
03-11 06.202400:00Guinea Bissau – EgyptA
03-11 06.202400:00D.R. Congo – TogoB
03-11 06.202400:00Mauritania – SenegalB
03-11 06.202400:00South Sudan – SudanB
03-11 06.202400:00South Africa – ZimbabweC
03-11 06.202400:00Benin – NigeriaC
03-11 06.202400:00Lesotho – RwandaC
03-11 06.202400:00Angola – CameroonD
03-11 06.202400:00Cape Verde – LibyaD
03-11 06.202400:00Mauritius – EswatiniD
03-11 06.202400:00Congo – MoroccoE
03-11 06.202400:00Zambia – TanzaniaE
03-11 06.202400:00Match Eritrea cancelledE
03-11 06.202400:00Seychelles – BurundiF
03-11 06.202400:00Gabon – GambiaF
03-11 06.202400:00Kenya – Ivory CoastF
03-11 06.202400:00Guinea – MozambiqueG
03-11 06.202400:00Somalia – BotswanaG
03-11 06.202400:00Uganda – AlgeriaG
03-11 06.202400:00Namibia – TunisiaH
03-11 06.202400:00Equatorial Guinea – MalawiH
03-11 06.202400:00Sao Tome and Principe – LiberiaH
03-11 06.202400:00Chad – ComorosI
03-11 06.202400:00Ghana – Central AfricaI
03-11 06.202400:00Madagascar – MaliI
Match round 5TIME (local)MATCHGROUPRESULT
17-25 03.202500:00After drawA
17-25 03.202500:00After drawA
17-25 03.202500:00After drawA
17-25 03.202500:00After drawB
17-25 03.202500:00After drawB
17-25 03.202500:00After drawB
17-25 03.202500:00After drawC
17-25 03.202500:00After drawC
17-25 03.202500:00After drawC
17-25 03.202500:00After drawD
17-25 03.202500:00After drawD
17-25 03.202500:00After drawD
17-25 03.202500:00After drawE
17-25 03.202500:00After drawE
17-25 03.202500:00After drawE
17-25 03.202500:00After drawF
17-25 03.202500:00After drawF
17-25 03.202500:00After drawF
17-25 03.202500:00After drawG
17-25 03.202500:00After drawG
17-25 03.202500:00After drawG
17-25 03.202500:00After drawH
17-25 03.202500:00After drawH
17-25 03.202500:00After drawH
17-25 03.202500:00After drawI
17-25 03.202500:00After drawI
17-25 03.202500:00After drawI
Match round 6TIME (local)MATCHGROUPRESULT
17-25 03.202500:00After drawA
17-25 03.202500:00After drawA
17-25 03.202500:00After drawA
17-25 03.202500:00After drawB
17-25 03.202500:00After drawB
17-25 03.202500:00After drawB
17-25 03.202500:00After drawC
17-25 03.202500:00After drawC
17-25 03.202500:00After drawC
17-25 03.202500:00After drawD
17-25 03.202500:00After drawD
17-25 03.202500:00After drawD
17-25 03.202500:00After drawE
17-25 03.202500:00After drawE
17-25 03.202500:00After drawE
17-25 03.202500:00After drawF
17-25 03.202500:00After drawF
17-25 03.202500:00After drawF
17-25 03.202500:00After drawG
17-25 03.202500:00After drawG
17-25 03.202500:00After drawG
17-25 03.202500:00After drawH
17-25 03.202500:00After drawH
17-25 03.202500:00After drawH
17-25 03.202500:00After drawI
17-25 03.202500:00After drawI
17-25 03.202500:00After drawI
Match round 7TIME (local)MATCHGROUPRESULT
01-09 09.202500:00After drawA
01-09 09.202500:00After drawA
01-09 09.202500:00After drawA
01-09 09.202500:00After drawB
01-09 09.202500:00After drawB
01-09 09.202500:00After drawB
01-09 09.202500:00After drawC
01-09 09.202500:00After drawC
01-09 09.202500:00After drawC
01-09 09.202500:00After drawD
01-09 09.202500:00After drawD
01-09 09.202500:00After drawD
01-09 09.202500:00After drawE
01-09 09.202500:00After drawE
01-09 09.202500:00After drawE
01-09 09.202500:00After drawF
01-09 09.202500:00After drawF
01-09 09.202500:00After drawF
01-09 09.202500:00After drawG
01-09 09.202500:00After drawG
01-09 09.202500:00After drawG
01-09 09.202500:00After drawH
01-09 09.202500:00After drawH
01-09 09.202500:00After drawH
01-09 09.202500:00After drawI
01-09 09.202500:00After drawI
01-09 09.202500:00After drawI
Match round 8TIME (local)MATCHGROUPRESULT
01-09 09.202500:00After drawA
01-09 09.202500:00After drawA
01-09 09.202500:00After drawA
01-09 09.202500:00After drawB
01-09 09.202500:00After drawB
01-09 09.202500:00After drawB
01-09 09.202500:00After drawC
01-09 09.202500:00After drawC
01-09 09.202500:00After drawC
01-09 09.202500:00After drawD
01-09 09.202500:00After drawD
01-09 09.202500:00After drawD
01-09 09.202500:00After drawE
01-09 09.202500:00After drawE
01-09 09.202500:00After drawE
01-09 09.202500:00After drawF
01-09 09.202500:00After drawF
01-09 09.202500:00After drawF
01-09 09.202500:00After drawG
01-09 09.202500:00After drawG
01-09 09.202500:00After drawG
01-09 09.202500:00After drawH
01-09 09.202500:00After drawH
01-09 09.202500:00After drawH
01-09 09.202500:00After drawI
01-09 09.202500:00After drawI
01-09 09.202500:00After drawI
Match round 9TIME (local)MATCHGROUPRESULT
06-14 10.202500:00After drawA
06-14 10.202500:00After drawA
06-14 10.202500:00After drawA
06-14 10.202500:00After drawB
06-14 10.202500:00After drawB
06-14 10.202500:00After drawB
06-14 10.202500:00After drawC
06-14 10.202500:00After drawC
06-14 10.202500:00After drawC
06-14 10.202500:00After drawD
06-14 10.202500:00After drawD
06-14 10.202500:00After drawD
06-14 10.202500:00After drawE
06-14 10.202500:00After drawE
06-14 10.202500:00After drawE
06-14 10.202500:00After drawF
06-14 10.202500:00After drawF
06-14 10.202500:00After drawF
06-14 10.202500:00After drawG
06-14 10.202500:00After drawG
06-14 10.202500:00After drawG
06-14 10.202500:00After drawH
06-14 10.202500:00After drawH
06-14 10.202500:00After drawH
06-14 10.202500:00After drawI
06-14 10.202500:00After drawI
06-14 10.202500:00After drawI
Match round 10TIME (local)MATCHGROUPRESULT
06-14 10.202500:00After drawA
06-14 10.202500:00After drawA
06-14 10.202500:00After drawA
06-14 10.202500:00After drawB
06-14 10.202500:00After drawB
06-14 10.202500:00After drawB
06-14 10.202500:00After drawC
06-14 10.202500:00After drawC
06-14 10.202500:00After drawC
06-14 10.202500:00After drawD
06-14 10.202500:00After drawD
06-14 10.202500:00After drawD
06-14 10.202500:00After drawE
06-14 10.202500:00After drawE
06-14 10.202500:00After drawE
06-14 10.202500:00After drawF
06-14 10.202500:00After drawF
06-14 10.202500:00After drawF
06-14 10.202500:00After drawG
06-14 10.202500:00After drawG
06-14 10.202500:00After drawG
06-14 10.202500:00After drawH
06-14 10.202500:00After drawH
06-14 10.202500:00After drawH
06-14 10.202500:00After drawI
06-14 10.202500:00After drawI
06-14 10.202500:00After drawI

Results

Live as soon as applicable

Format CAF qualifiers Round 1

The FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Africa start with a group stage, consisting of nine poules of six teams. These matches are played in accordance with the double round-robin format. That means, each nation plays home and away against each of its five group opponents. The nine group winners qualify directly. The four best runners-up of the nine Round 1 groups will continue the CAF qualifiers in Round 2.


Round 2 | World Cup football qualifiers Africa

November 10-18, 2025

Fixtures & results

PLAY-OFFS SEMI-FINALS TIMEMATCHRESULT
10-18 11.202500:00Best runners-up, match after draw
10-18 11.202500:00Best runners-up, match after draw
PLAY-OFFS SEMI-FINALS RETURNSTIMEMATCHRESULT
10-18 11.202500:00Best runners-up, match after draw
10-18 11.202500:00Best runners-up, match after draw
PLAY-OFFS FINALTIMEMATCHRESULT
10-18 11.202500:00Winner SF1 – Winner SF2
PLAY-OFFS FINAL RETURNTIMEMATCHRESULT
10-18 11.202500:00Winner SF2 – Winner SF1

Format CAF qualifiers Round 2 Play-offs

In the second round of the CAF qualification for the World Cup football, the four best numbers two of the group stage in Round 1 continue for one last ticket. In order to gain access to the 2026 finals, in the African Round 2, their first challenge is to survive the play-offs semi-finals. Both winners play in the CAF play-off final, after which the final winner is not yet qualified for the 2026 World Cup, however allowed to represent Africa in the decisive intercontinental FIFA play-offs.


FIFA Intercontinental play-offs with 1 African nation

November, 2025

Pro Shots / Zuma Press

One country from the FIFA Zone CAF, after the regular qualification phase, will have a second chance in the intercontinental World Cup 2026 qualification play-offs. That is the winner of the African continental Round 2 play-offs. In the mini-tournament of the following inter-confederational play-offs, six countries are participating. They come from five of the six FIFA confederations: AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa), OFC (Oceania), CONMEBOL (South America) and CONCACAF (North America, Central America, and the Caribbean). The European confederation, UEFA, will have no representative at these intercontinental 2026 World Cup play-offs, while World Cup host CONCACAF will be allowed to provide two countries. The six countries compete for the last two (of 48) tickets that entitle them to participate in the World Cup in the three North American countries USA, Canada and Mexico. Including these cross-continental play-offs, the total number of World Cup participants from the FIFA Zone CAF could reach ten.

Format cross-intercontinental play-offs
The format of the six-nation inter-confederation play-offs is as follows. The four (of the six) qualified countries that are, at that moment, lowest in the FIFA Ranking are linked by a draw. The two winners then play against the two countries that (of those six) are highest in the FIFA Ranking. The two winners of those last two games will eventually get the last 2026 World Cup football tickets.


World Cup football qualification in Africa: overview

The qualifying series in the FIFA zone CAF for the 2026 Football World Cup runs from November 2023 to November 2025. Apart from the intercontinental FIFA World Cup 2026 play-offs later in November 2025. In the qualifying zone of the African Football Confederation, 54 countries compete for nine to ten tickets for the World Cup finals in North America.

Round 1

The CAF World Cup qualifiers from 2023 to 2025 will, for the first time, start with nine groups of six teams. Each country plays against each of the other countries in its group twice: once away and once at home. In other words, the qualification in the FIFA Zone CAF starts with a round robin format. In this case, with ten group matches on the program for each country. All nine group winners qualify directly for the World Cup.

When: November 13, 2023 – October 14, 2025

Round 2 / Play-offs

In Africa, after Round 1 one more member of the ‘Confédération Africaine de Football’ continues to have a chance of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup in North America. The four best numbers two from the nine groups will continue the CAF qualifying series with a continental play-off. The four participants in these CAF play-offs will, November 2025, play a mini tournament including semi-finals and a final. In those last African qualifiers they compete for one ticket for the intercontinental play-offs. If the representative from Africa is successful in the intercontinental play-offs, the total number of African countries that qualify for the FIFA World Cup football will be ten. Whether it eventually becomes nine or ten, it is considerably more than the number of five CAF countries that won an entry ticket for the previous World Cup (in 2022). This has everything to do with the larger number of upcoming World Cup starting tickets: 48.

When: November 10-18, 2025

CAF countries qualifying for the World Cup football

From the FIFA CAF Zone, a minimum of nine, a maximum of ten countries will qualify for the World Cup. The total number of countries at the final round in 2026 is 48. This number is made up as follows.

FIFA ZONEQUALIFY FOR WORLD CUP FOOTBALL 2026 | AVAILABLE SLOTS FIFA CONTINENTS
AFCMinimum 8, maximum 9 countries (possible +1 via intercontinental play-offs)
CONCACAFMinimum 6, maximum 8 countries (possible +2 via intercontinental play-offs)
Host countries USA, Canada and Mexico are already automatically qualified
CONMEBOLMinimum 6, maximum 7 countries (possible +1 via intercontinental play-offs)
OFCMinimum 1, maximum 2 countries (possible +1 via intercontinental play-offs)
CAFMinimum 9, maximum 10 countries (possible +1 via intercontinental play-offs)
UEFA16 countries

54 CAF nations in the 2026 World Cup football qualifiers

The following countries are from the FIFA Zone of the Confederation of African Football. Five countries from this continent managed to qualify for the last football world championship, in 2022 in Qatar. Namely Cameroon (which ended in the first round), Ghana (first round), Morocco (semi-finals), Senegal (eighth finals) and Tunisia (first round). Now they compete for tickets for the World Cup 2026.

  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Congo DR
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea withdrawn
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • The Gambia
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

See also: the positions of the CAF teams in the FIFA Ranking.

Draw qualification World Cup football in the CAF zone

Pro Shots / Action Images

Which countries play against each other in the World Cup qualification on the football continent of Africa? On some continents, the exact classification could depend on their position in the FIFA Ranking. However, in Africa all 54 FIFA nations are assured of participation in the first, main qualifying round. Still, the draw determines the classification of the CAF groups and thus who will play against whom. The date of the official draw of the Preliminaries in the CAF Zone was July 13, 2023. That was the evening before the 45th CAF Ordinary General Assembly. The location was Cotonou, Benin. See also: Preliminary Draw World Cup Football.

World Cup football draw

FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) determine the final program with the dates and matches of each round in the CAF qualifiers. Each schedule will be published at this CAF World Cup qualification page. The African nations that qualify for the finals, will be part of the 2026 World Cup football draw. Click for info, date and location.

The information on this page is based on the official information from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), current and subject to possible changes.

Read back: earlier updates World Cup qualifiers Africa

Update May 18, 2023: The qualifying series in the FIFA zone CAF for the 2026 FIFA World Cup will start in November, 2023. The World Football Association and the Confederation of African Football have decided on May 18, 2023 on the dates and schedule. In the qualifying zone of Africa, 54 countries compete for nine to ten tickets for the World Cup in North America. Nine countries from the CAF qualifying rounds qualify directly for the 2026 World Cup. In addition, one country will gain access to the intercontinental play-offs via the African qualifying rounds. From this, the tenth CAF country can reach the World Cup finals. The CAF changed the format for qualifying for the FIFA World Cup on Thursday, May 18, 2023. The reason for this is the increase in the number of World Cup 2026 starting permits; 48 in total. FIFA Zone Africa may now represent at least nine countries for the final tournament; previously there were five.

The format, schedule and dates of the qualification for the FIFA World Cup in this FIFA Zone have been formalised in May, 2023.

The previous qualification – for the 2022 World Cup – in the Zone CAF | The Covid-19 pandemic also affected the course of qualifying in the FIFA Zone CAF ahead of the previous World Cup in 2022 in Qatar. Despite several delays, the African continent completed the qualifying series as follows.

This qualification consisted of three rounds: simply the first round, the second round and the third round. In Round 1, just over half of the total number of 54 CAF countries took part. These were the 28 African countries that were lower on the FIFA Ranking than the other 26 CAF teams. Through 14 head-to-head knockout matches – home and away – an equal number of winners advanced to Round 2.

In that qualifying phase – Round 2 – the other 26 countries also started. These forty countries in total were divided into ten groups of four. They completed the schedule in accordance with the double round-robin system: home and away against each of the other three group opponents. The ten group winners advanced to Round 3.

In that final phase of the World Cup qualification – Round 3 – a draw lead to five decisive head-to-head matches, home and away. The five winners qualified for the World Cup in Qatar: Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia. Cameroon, Ghana and Tunisia finished the 2022 World Cup in the group stage. Senegal reached the round of 16, while Morocco made CAF and world history. Morocco was the first African country to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup. The surprise of the tournament eventually finished fourth, behind number three Croatia.


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FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFIcation

World Cup Football Qualifiers North America, Central America, Caribbean

Qualification North America, Central America, Caribbean

In North America, Central America and the Caribbean, the FIFA qualifiers run from March 18, 2024 to November 18, 2025. Six, seven or eight of the 32 participating CONCACAF nations qualify, joining hosts USA, Canada and Mexico.

World Cup Football Qualifiers South America

FIFA World Cup football Qualification South America

In South America, the FIFA World Cup qualifiers run from September 7, 2023 to September 9, 2025. A total of 10 CONMEBOL nations participate. Six to seven South American countries will qualify. There is one single round.

World Cup Football Qualifiers Europe

FIFA World Cup football qualification Europe

In Europe, the qualifiers run from March 17, 2025 to March 31, 2026. A total of 55 (of 54) UEFA nations participate. Sixteen European countries will qualify. There is one group stage (Round 1), followed by the European play-offs.

World Cup Football Qualifiers Asia

FIFA World Cup football Qualification Asia

In Asia, the World Cup qualification runs from October 12, 2023 to November, 2025. A total of 46 AFC nations participate. Eight or nine Asian countries will qualify. There are three qualifying rounds, before the play-offs.

World Cup Football Qualifiers Africa

FIFA World Cup football Qualification Africa

In Africa, the World Cup football qualifiers run from November 13, 2023 to November 18, 2025. A total of 54 CAF nations participate. Nine or ten African countries will qualify. There are two qualification rounds.

World Cup Football Qualifiers Oceania

FIFA World Cup football Qualification Oceania

In Oceania, the FIFA qualifiers for the World Cup football run from September, 2024 to March, 2025. Eleven OFC nations participate. One or two Oceanic countries qualify. There are three qualification rounds.


2026 HOST CITies & STADIUMS

Host Cities USA

The 2026 American Dream: the United States is one of the three hosts of the FIFA World Cup Soccer in North America. The USA is the host country with the most - eleven - host cities.

Host Cities Canada

With Vancouver, and Toronto, Canada has two host cities for the world's football finals in North America in 2026. Get more information about the characteristics of these exciting and diverse, dynamic cities.

Host Cities Mexico

With Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico has three candidate host cities for the World Cup in 2026. Each host with its specific ambience, history, attractions, hotspots and other features.

Stadiums USA

The United States will have eleven stadiums for the FIFA 2026 World Cup. Click for more information about these fantastic and modern venues in the USA, and which matches they will host.

Stadiums Canada

During the 2026 World Cup finals, these are the two venues in Canada: BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, and BMO Field in Toronto. Find out more about these attractive Canadian stadiums.

Stadiums Mexico

In Mexico, the FIFA 2026 World Cup will take place in these stadiums: Estadio Akron in Guadalajara, the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City and the BBVA Bancomer Stadium in Monterrey.