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CONCACAF unveils new 2022 WC Qualifying format

CONCACAF unveils new 2022 World Cup Qualifying format

July 10, 2019 By Oscar Rojas
There will be not one, but two ways for CONCACAF teams to make it to the tournament set to be held in Qatar.

The road to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in CONCACAF just got a bit easier for some, and more complicated to the vast majority of teams in this region.

Earlier today, football's governing body for North America, Central America and the Caribbean revealed the new format that will be used to allocate the three and a half World Cup berths handed to CONCACAF. The process is a bit tricky, but it will give the top teams of the region a chance to play fewer games en route to the global tournament.

CONCACAF has decided to divide its teams into two groups. The first of said groups will be composed by six teams, which will play the well-known hexagonal format. These teams will go on to play ten games (home and away), and the top-three teams will earn their spot in the 2022 World Cup. These six spots will be determined with the FIFA World Ranking of June 2020.

The second part of the new format is where it gets tricky. Teams ranked from seventh to 35th place in the CONCACAF region will be divided into eight groups (five with four teams, three more with three teams each). The winner of each group will make it to a knockout stage, following the home and away format. The winner of this knockout stage will go on and play against the fourth-placed team in the Hexagonal to determine the CONCACAF team that will represent the region in the Intercontinental World Cup Qualifiers.

Both "tournaments" will be played simultaneously in the following FIFA International breaks: September 2020, October 2020, November 2020, March 2021, June 2021 and September 2021. The match between the KO stage winner and the 4th-placed team from the Hex will take place in October 2021.

Here's a detailed explanation published by CONCACAF on their Twitter feed.

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