August 20 – Concacaf teams learned their pathway to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after the preliminary draw paired 2026 tournament hosts Canada in Group B with Suriname, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Aruba.
The United States, Mexico and the other top five FIFA ranked regional heavyweights will only enter the fray in the third and final round of qualifying.
In the preliminary draw, the remaining 30 nations were paired together in the first round of group qualifying with Canada seeded alongside El Salvador, Curacao, Panama, Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago.
Concacaf was forced to redraw the World Cup qualifying scenario in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The governing body replaced its traditional hexagonal with an octagonal, leaving the region’s 30 other nations to compete for three additional spots in the final round of qualifying.
The six group winners will advance to a two-legged second round tie for the right to complete the playing field in the octagonal and take on some of the confederation’s most storied countries.The United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras all received byes for the final eight.
The top three teams of the ‘octagonal’ will qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, with the fourth-placed team qualifying for the intercontinental play-off.
Group A: El Salvador, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Montserrat and US Virgin Islands
Group B: Canada, Suriname, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Aruba
Group C: Curacao, Guatemala, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Cuba and British Virgin Islands
Group D: Panama, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Dominica and Anguilla
Group E: Haiti, Nicaragua, Belize, St. Lucia and Turks and Caicos Islands
Group F: Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, Guyana, Puerto Rico and Bahamas
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1601002836labto1601002836ofdlr1601002836owedi1601002836sni@o1601002836fni1601002836