BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
For the Nigeria Super Eagles and the other 53 national football teams in Africa, the race to the expanded World Cup 2026 to be held in the US, Canada and Mexico will begin in the second week of November.
That is the key point of the outcome of the executive committee meeting of CAF held in Algiers on Thursday.
A major deduction is that there will be nine groups of six teams each.
All the group leaders will automatically qualify for the World Cup finals.
It therefore follows that each team will play 10 matches.
The four best runners-up will then have a CAF play-off to produce an African candidate for inter-continental play-off where a possible 10th team could qualify for the World Cup.
Approved Dates: FIFA World Cup 2026 African Qualifiers:
- Match Day 1 & 2 : November 13-21
- Match Day 3 & 4 : June 3-1, 2024
- Match Day 5 & 6 : March 17 -25, 2025
- Match Day 7 & 8 : Sept. 1-9, 2025
- Match Day 9 &10: Oct. 5-14, 2025
- CAF Play-off: Nov. 10-18, 2025
- FIFA Play-off : March 2026