BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
The draw for the qualifying series for African teams to the World Cup 2020 will be made on January 21 next year at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cairo.
It is the CAF draw for the second round of the preliminary competition.
According to a press statement obtained by Sports Village Square from FIFA, the ceremony will see the 14 winners of Round 1 joining the 26 top-seeded African teams to form ten groups of four.
The seeding will be based on the December 2019 edition of the FIFA World Ranking.
The 10 group winners will then advancing to Round 3. The second round of Africa’s qualifiers will kick off in March 2020 and will conclude in October 2021.
In Round 3, which is scheduled for November 2021, the ten group winners from Round 2 will be paired up for knockout matches, with the five winners securing a berth at Qatar 2022.
Sports Village Square recalls that the qualifying system is similar to that employed for Brazil 2014.
Before then, the draw for South America’s round-robin league will take place at the Hotel Bourbon, located next to CONMEBOL headquarters in Luque on Tuesday next week.
Like the preliminary competition in Africa, that of the 10-nation South America will start in March 2020. Each of the 10 national teams face each other home and away until November 2021, with the top four teams qualifying for Qatar 2022. The fifth-placed team will advance to the intercontinental play-offs.
Sports Village Square notes that worldwide, 900 matches are projected to be played on the road to Qatar 2022. So far, 136 have been played.