Zambia’s road to Qatar 2022 to be mapped out today
Zambia’s opponent in the qualifying stage of the FIFA 2022 World Cup will be announced this evening as African nations set sights on making it to the prestigious tournament. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is expected to conduct the draw for the preliminary round in Cairo later today.
Zambia’s Chipolopolo Boys who are ranked 17th in Africa and 25 other top-ranked teams on the continent will not feature in the preliminary round but will join the qualifying stage in the second round which will be the group stages.
The second round will be played in the format of a group stage before the final qualifying round will be played in a two-legged tie.
The first round will see 28 of the continent’s lowest-ranked sides being drawn against each other for a two-leg home and away tie.
The 28 teams for the first round will be made up of: Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Seychelles, Sao Tome, Chad, South Sudan, Gambia, Mauritius, Liberia, Ethiopia, Comoros, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Togo, Malawi, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Central African Republic and Tanzania.
The winners will then progress to the next stage to join the top-ranked teams on the continent, 26 of them, including Chipolopolo who currently ranked 17th in Africa and complete the list of 40 teams, and will be drawn into 10 groups of four teams each.
Some of the top-ranked teams are runners up at the recently held Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Senegal who maintained their first place in Africa and ranked 20th in the world, Tunisia who finished fourth at the AFCON and ranked 29th in the world.
Nigeria (33rd), newly-crowned African champions, Algeria (40th), Morocco (41st), Egypt (49th), Cameroun (53rd), DR Congo (56th) and Cote d’Ivoire (57th), Mali (59th) in that order, complete the top 10.
The winners of the second round will advance to the third and final round where they will again be drawn in teams of two for another home and away tie and the winners eventually picking the five slots allotted Africa for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
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