FIFA and Concacaf today conducted the official draw for the Concacaf Qualifiers to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The live event, held at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, was conducted by FIFA’s Director of Tournaments and Interim Competitions, Jaime Yarza, with the assistance of Concacaf Legends Shaun Goater (Bermuda) and David Suazo (Honduras).
The new Concacaf Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 are comprised 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 will be played between the Concacaf Member Associations ranked 6-35 based on the FIFA Men’s Ranking as of July 16, 2020. The 30 men’s national teams have been drawn into six groups of five, as follows:
El Salvador, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Montserrat, US Virgin Islands
Canada, Suriname, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Aruba
Curaçao, Guatemala, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Cuba, British Virgin Islands
Panama, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Dominica, Anguilla
Haiti, Nicaragua, Belize, St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos Islands
Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, Guyana, Puerto Rico, Bahamas
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 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. The eight teams will play each other home and away, with each team playing 14 matches.
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 team’s positions have been drawn and will be as follows:
Team 1: Winner of 1B vs 1E
Team 2: Honduras
Team 3: Winner of 1A vs 1F
Team 4: USA
Team 5: Winner of 1C vs 1D
Team 6: Costa Rica
Team 7: Mexico
Team 8: Jamaica
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.
“The FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of global football and the competition that players and coaches in our region, and the world over, dream of and aspire to compete in,” said Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President, Victor Montagliani.
“Today’s draw is the beginning of those dreams for our Member Associations, their national teams and of course the fans. It will create real excitement and anticipation in the Concacaf region.
“At Concacaf we are committed to providing more competitive opportunities for all our national teams, as clearly demonstrated by the expansion of Gold Cup and the hugely successful introduction of the Concacaf Nations League. The format for these World Cup qualifiers fits with that commitment, with all teams guaranteed at least four matches and having a clear path to the Final Round and Qatar 2022 itself.
“I know that many fans and communities in our region continue to face very challenging circumstances. My thoughts are with them and I hope that the prospect of an exciting World Cup qualification campaign in Concacaf can provide some hope and anticipation during such a difficult time for the world.
“To all the teams involved in this draw, and to their fans: your road to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is now set. Good luck, Buena suerte, bonne chance, succes,” added Montagliani.