The journey to the FIFA World Cup 2026 was officially mapped out on Thursday as CAF conducted the official draw of the FIFA World Cup™ 2026 African Preliminary Qualifiers in Cote D’Ivoire.
The official Draw comes just hours after the 45th CAF General Assembly which was also attended by CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe and FIFA President, Gianni Infantino in Abidjan.
African football legends Emmanuel Eboue, Asamoah Gyan, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha. Emmanuel Adebayor, Wael Gomaa and Alexandre Song assisted in the draw.
A total of 54 African nations will compete for the available 9.5 allocated spots for Africa, with the qualifiers officially starting in November.
As in previous qualifiers, the draw produced some interesting outcomes for the nations, who were split into nine groups of six as the journey to Canada, Mexico and USA gets underway in the next few months.
Winners of each Group will automatically qualify for the FIFA World Cup™ 2026.
The four best runners-up (from the Groups) will play in a CAF Play-Off tournament. The winner of the CAF Play-Off Tournament will play in the FIFA Play-off Tournament to potentially be the 10th African nation.
Below are the groups following the draw in Abidjan on Thursday:
São Tomé & Príncipe
Central African R.