CONCACAF Announces New World Cup Qualifying Format

CONCACAF

 

via CONCACAF

 

 

The new Concacaf Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 comprise of three rounds and provide all participating Member Associations with the chance to compete for the Confederation’s three and a half World Cup spots.

The First Round (30 teams) will be played between the Concacaf Member Associations ranked 6-35 based on the FIFA rankings as of July 16, 2020. 

The 30 men’s national teams will be drawn into six groups of five in a seeded draw. The six highest ranked teams, El Salvador, Canada, Curacao, Panama, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago will be pre-seeded into groups A to F respectively. 

Each team will play every other team in their group once, playing a total of four matches; two home and two away. These games will be played in the FIFA match windows of October 2020 and November 2020.

At the end of the First Round the six group winners will progress to the Second Round.

The Second Round (six teams) will be played between the group winners from the First Round, with the matchups pre-determined as follows:

  • Group A winner vs Group F winner
  • Group B winner vs Group E winner
  • Group C winner vs Group D winner


The teams will play home and away in a direct elimination format in the FIFA match window of March 2021. The three winners will progress to the Final Round.

The Final Round (eight teams) of the Concacaf Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will see the three winners from the Second Round join the Concacaf Member Associations ranked 1-5 based on the FIFA rankings as of July 16th, 2020. The national teams ranked 1-5 had already gained enough FIFA ranking points to guarantee their place in the Final Round prior to the development of a new format.

Final Round teams: 1. Mexico 2. USA 3. Costa Rica 4. Jamaica 5. Honduras 6. Second Round Winner 7. Second Round Winner 8. Second Round Winner.

The Final Round will begin in the double FIFA match window in June 2021 and continue in the FIFA match windows of September, October, November 2021 and January and March 2022.

The eight teams will play each other home and away, with each team playing 14 matches. 

At the end of the Final Round, the top three finishing teams will qualify directly to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The fourth placed team will qualify for the FIFA Intercontinental Playoff, scheduled to be played in June 2022.