2026 World Cup - African qualifiers

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amenina
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2026 World Cup - African qualifiers

Post by amenina »

FIFA World Cup 2026™ African Qualifiers Official Draw on 13 July

https://www.cafonline.com/press-release ... on-13-july

The official Draw of the FIFA World Cup 2026™African Preliminaries Qualifiers will be conducted on Thursday, 13 July in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

The draw will be live on CAF digital platforms and CAFONLINE.com at 15h00 GMT (18h00 Cairo time) – a few hours after the 45th CAF Ordinary Assembly that will also be held in Abidjan.

For the Draw, the Member Associations of CAF will be divided into nine (9) Groups.

Winners of each Group will automatically qualify for the FIFA World Cup™ 2026. The four best runners-up (from the Groups) will play in a CAF Play-Off tournament. The winner of the CAF Play-Off Tournament will play in the FIFA Play-off Tournament.
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Jackson Harrison
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Post by Jackson Harrison »

amenina wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 14:33 FIFA World Cup 2026™ African Qualifiers Official Draw on 13 July

https://www.cafonline.com/press-release ... on-13-july

The official Draw of the FIFA World Cup 2026™African Preliminaries Qualifiers will be conducted on Thursday, 13 July in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

The draw will be live on CAF digital platforms and CAFONLINE.com at 15h00 GMT (18h00 Cairo time) – a few hours after the 45th CAF Ordinary Assembly that will also be held in Abidjan.

For the Draw, the Member Associations of CAF will be divided into nine (9) Groups.

Winners of each Group will automatically qualify for the FIFA World Cup™ 2026. The four best runners-up (from the Groups) will play in a CAF Play-Off tournament. The winner of the CAF Play-Off Tournament will play in the FIFA Play-off Tournament.
Do we know pots?
Shing
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Post by Shing »

Jackson Harrison wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 16:44
amenina wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 14:33 FIFA World Cup 2026™ African Qualifiers Official Draw on 13 July

https://www.cafonline.com/press-release ... on-13-july

The official Draw of the FIFA World Cup 2026™African Preliminaries Qualifiers will be conducted on Thursday, 13 July in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

The draw will be live on CAF digital platforms and CAFONLINE.com at 15h00 GMT (18h00 Cairo time) – a few hours after the 45th CAF Ordinary Assembly that will also be held in Abidjan.

For the Draw, the Member Associations of CAF will be divided into nine (9) Groups.

Winners of each Group will automatically qualify for the FIFA World Cup™ 2026. The four best runners-up (from the Groups) will play in a CAF Play-Off tournament. The winner of the CAF Play-Off Tournament will play in the FIFA Play-off Tournament.
Do we know pots?
According to this: https://dailypost.ng/2023/06/30/fifa-pu ... up-begins/

Pot 1: Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Algeria, Tunisia, Cameroon, Mali, Egypt, (Ivory Coast missing in the article)

Pot 2: Ghana, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Guinea, Zambia, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea

Pot 3: Angola, Benin, Kenya, Mauritania, Congo, Uganda, Madagascar, Guinea Bissau, Namibia

Pot 4: Mozambique, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, Malawi, Libya

Pot 5: Niger, Comoros, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Botswana, Liberia

Pot 6: Lesotho, South Sudan, Mauritius, Chad, Sao Tome, Djibouti, Seychelles, Eritrea, Somalia
Last edited by Shing on Tue Jul 11, 2023 16:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Jackson Harrison
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Post by Jackson Harrison »

Shing wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 16:52
Jackson Harrison wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 16:44
amenina wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 14:33 FIFA World Cup 2026™ African Qualifiers Official Draw on 13 July

https://www.cafonline.com/press-release ... on-13-july

The official Draw of the FIFA World Cup 2026™African Preliminaries Qualifiers will be conducted on Thursday, 13 July in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

The draw will be live on CAF digital platforms and CAFONLINE.com at 15h00 GMT (18h00 Cairo time) – a few hours after the 45th CAF Ordinary Assembly that will also be held in Abidjan.

For the Draw, the Member Associations of CAF will be divided into nine (9) Groups.

Winners of each Group will automatically qualify for the FIFA World Cup™ 2026. The four best runners-up (from the Groups) will play in a CAF Play-Off tournament. The winner of the CAF Play-Off Tournament will play in the FIFA Play-off Tournament.
Do we know pots?
According to this: https://dailypost.ng/2023/06/30/fifa-pu ... up-begins/

Pot 1: Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Algeria, Tunisia, Cameroon, Mali, Egypt

Pot 2: Ghana, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Guinea, Zambia, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea

Pot 3: Angola, Benin, Kenya, Mauritania, Congo, Uganda, Madagascar, Guinea Bissau, Namibia

Pot 4: Mozambique, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, Malawi, Libya

Pot 5: Niger, Comoros, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Botswana, Liberia

Pot 6: Lesotho, South Sudan, Mauritius, Chad, Sao Tome, Djibouti, Seychelles, Eritrea, Somalia
OK. I just wondered for a mock draw!
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Firnen
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Post by Firnen »

Gambia stands out in Pot 4.

I think they're actually stronger than the entire pot 3.

Everyone is hoping to draw Mali, then who's the 2nd "easiest" ? Nigeria and Algeria are notoriously unreliable.
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Post by Jackson Harrison »

Firnen wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 19:08 Gambia stands out in Pot 4.

I think they're actually stronger than the entire pot 3.

Everyone is hoping to draw Mali, then who's the 2nd "easiest" ? Nigeria and Algeria are notoriously unreliable.
It's FIFA ranking which goes back a few years!
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Post by TommyChat »

Jackson Harrison wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 20:07
Firnen wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 19:08 Gambia stands out in Pot 4.

I think they're actually stronger than the entire pot 3.

Everyone is hoping to draw Mali, then who's the 2nd "easiest" ? Nigeria and Algeria are notoriously unreliable.
It's FIFA ranking which goes back a few years!
Gambia would be pot 5, close to pot 6 based on the rankings before the quarter finals run in 2022 AFCON.
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Jackson Harrison
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Post by Jackson Harrison »

TommyChat wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 20:30
Jackson Harrison wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 20:07
Firnen wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 19:08 Gambia stands out in Pot 4.

I think they're actually stronger than the entire pot 3.

Everyone is hoping to draw Mali, then who's the 2nd "easiest" ? Nigeria and Algeria are notoriously unreliable.
It's FIFA ranking which goes back a few years!
Gambia would be pot 5, close to pot 6 based on the rankings before the quarter finals run in 2022 AFCON.
I watched their AFCON games and it was no fluke. I think they'll qualify to WC!
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Post by Lorric »

Firnen wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 19:08 Gambia stands out in Pot 4.

I think they're actually stronger than the entire pot 3.

Everyone is hoping to draw Mali, then who's the 2nd "easiest" ? Nigeria and Algeria are notoriously unreliable.
I'd have my eye on Cameroon having been bested head to head by Namibia in AFCON qualifying.
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Firnen
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Post by Firnen »

Lorric wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 21:07
Firnen wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 19:08 Gambia stands out in Pot 4.

I think they're actually stronger than the entire pot 3.

Everyone is hoping to draw Mali, then who's the 2nd "easiest" ? Nigeria and Algeria are notoriously unreliable.
I'd have my eye on Cameroon having been bested head to head by Namibia in AFCON qualifying.
Cameroon is such a strange team. It was a surprise that they made the World Cup but somehow they were competitive in the Groups, and now they are fighting Burundi and losing to Namibia.
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Post by Kamtedrejt »

My group of death

🇲🇦 Morocco (World Cup semi-finalists enough said)
🇬🇭 Ghana (possess highest individual quality of pot 2)
🇧🇯 Benin (very young squad with good potential)
🇬🇲 Gambia (nation on the rise)
🇸🇩 Sudan (tough place to go as a visiting side)
🇱🇸 Lesotho (they are better than the rest of pot 6)
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Post by Kamtedrejt »

I think almost everybody in pot 1 and pot 2 can eye qualification.

In pot 3 the only side I could imagine qualifying would be Benin. I think Angola and Uganda are decent and can prove to be disrupter teams who can cause probems to some of the big boys but I don't think they are seriously in contention to qualify.

In pot 4 the only side who could pull off qualifiaction is Gambia.

Pot 5 and pot 6 won't stand a chance.
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Post by amenina »

Kamtedrejt wrote: Wed Jul 12, 2023 10:32 My group of death

🇲🇦 Morocco (World Cup semi-finalists enough said)
🇬🇭 Ghana (possess highest individual quality of pot 2)
🇧🇯 Benin (very young squad with good potential)
🇬🇲 Gambia (nation on the rise)
🇸🇩 Sudan (tough place to go as a visiting side)
🇱🇸 Lesotho (they are better than the rest of pot 6)
Benin aren't doing that well in AFCON qualifying. They only have 5 points from a weak group with their two main competitors being Mozambique and Rwanda, and two of those points were awarded because Rwanda fielded an ineligible player, turning the draw into a forfeit win for them. Even teams like Guinea Bissau and Namibia in Pot 3 are doing better than them.

And teams don't have to worry about visiting Sudan as of now because of the ongoing civil war. The league is suspended so if the situation does not improve their players, which are almost all based domestically, will be out of form. Also Sudan's record in WCQ are almost always terrible, their last decent qualifying campaign was in 2002 when they finished third in a group behind Nigeria and Liberia. So I would pick a team like Comoros, which seems to be at least sort of competitive, though not necessarily winning or drawing matches, against stronger teams.

I agree Lesotho is the best of the Pot 6 teams. They just reached the semi-finals of the COSAFA Cup, although I am not sure how "valuable" this piece of information is given the level of competition.
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Post by Lorric »

Lesotho are currently playing home games in South Africa. Why aren't they using their Setsoto Stadium, which is also a high altitude venue?

The team's nickname is The Crocodiles though. Crocodiles don't belong on mountains. :mrgreen:
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Post by amenina »

Lorric wrote: Wed Jul 12, 2023 18:59 Lesotho are currently playing home games in South Africa. Why aren't they using their Setsoto Stadium, which is also a high altitude venue?

The team's nickname is The Crocodiles though. Crocodiles don't belong on mountains. :mrgreen:
CAF introduced a pretty strict standard for the home stadiums for AFCON qualifiers, so a lot of the countries failed to find a stadium and had to play abroad for their home matches. I don't know if FIFA will impose the same standard for the WCQ qualifiers.

Lesotho have only won two WCQ matches, both for Brazil 2014: a home 1-0 win against Burundi in the first round, which they eventually won on aggregate in an upset, and in the second round 4-team group stage, a 3-1 away win against Sudan (which I said in the last post as a team which almost always played terrible in WCQ) in the last dead rubber to finish third ahead of Sudan.

On the other hand, Lesotho were unbeaten in their last two WCQ campaign, as for both Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022, they drew both first round matches, and the tie finished 1-1 on aggregate, and both times they were eliminated on the away goals rule. Combined with the win against Sudan, they are on a 5-game unbeaten WCQ streak! :smile1: Anyway, I guess they should be glad to see the elimination of the two-legged first round.
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