July 11 – Concacaf have announced details of a two-part regional qualification for the 2022 World Cup and their 3.5 slots in Qatar.
The first part will see the top six ranked teams in Concacaf according to the FIFA rankings end January 2020 compete in a Hexagonal format in the international match windows of September, October and November of 2020 and March and September of 2021.
Games will be played home and away with the top three teams qualifying for Qatar 2022.
Current FIFA rankings (end June 2019) would see Mexico (18), USA (30), Costa Rica (39), Jamaica (54), Honduras (61), and Panama (75), as the top six teams. However, following the just completed Gold Cup and the upcoming Nations League, those current top six nations look likely to be challenged in the ranking s by Canada (78), Curacao (79) and Haiti (101).
In the second part of the qualifiers nations ranked 7 to 35 in Concacaf will be divided into eight groups (five groups of four teams and three groups of three teams). The group winners will then go into knock-out rounds. The winner of the knockout phase will face the fourth-place finisher of the Hexagonal group to determine the Concacaf representative in the FIFA intercontinental playoff.
“The love for the game in this region is growing rapidly and our diverse and dynamic communities want a clear pathway to world-class football. Through our freshly designed formats — across FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Concacaf Nations League and Concacaf Gold Cup — we are staging more competitive international matches than ever-before to help these communities fulfill their potential,” said Concacaf President Victor Montagliani.
“This new FIFA World Cup Qualifying format, based on the FIFA rankings, makes every competitive match count. Alongside the Concacaf Nations League, and our expanded Gold Cup, it will raise standards of play to unprecedented levels and develop the sport across the region. Making the leading Concacaf nations stronger on the global stage, while giving our emerging footballing nations the chance to pursue their dreams of playing at a World Cup.”
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