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CONCACAF changes World Cup Qualifying system

Changes to CONCACAF's World Cup Qualifying system revealed

July 28, 2020 By Oscar Rojas
According to CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani, the new format will keep each nation's dream of qualifying to the WC alive.

CONCACAF execs have decided to change their World Cup Qualifying scheme in order to give each team a fighting chance of making it to the quadrennial competition. 

According to CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani, football in the region took a massive toll due to the coronavirus pandemic, and with that in mind, the entity came up with a new eight-team round that will decide the 3.5 berths to play in the global competition.

Thirty teams will be drawn into the first stage of the World Cup Qualifiers on August 17, and the first round will begin in October 2020. Each team will play four games against their group rivals, and the winner of each group will qualify to the next stage. Then, the second round of qualifying will see the six group winners drawn into three two-legged ties to determine those teams that will enter the final round, where Mexico, the USMNT, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Jamaica are already waiting.

"We have also respected the positions of those nations which had already mathematically qualified for the Final Round under the previous system," president Montagliani stated about the decision to include the previously mentioned five teams in the final round.

Montagliani also explained how the ongoing pandemic forced these changes to be implemented, but in the end, it will give most teams a chance of reaching the final stage of the tournament and therefore keep their options of playing in the World Cup open.

"All teams now have the chance to compete for direct access to Qatar 2022 and dream of playing at a World Cup," Montagliani added.

The first round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in CONCACAF will go from October 2020 to November 2020. The second round will be played in March 2021, and the final round will kick off in June 2021. The international breaks in September 2021, October 2021, November 2021, January 2022, and March 2022 will also be used to end the competition and award all three direct spots to the tournament and the ticket for the intercontinental playoff. 

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