Monrovia — Following the recent draw for the 2026 FIFA World Cup African qualifiers, Liberia’s national football team head coach, Ansumana Keita, expressed his optimism about their chances of progressing from Group H. The draw took place during the 45th CAF Ordinary Congress in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on Thursday, July 13. In this group, Liberia’s Lone Star will compete against Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Malawi, and São Tomé.
Despite Tunisia being considered the favorites due to their previous six World Cup appearances, none of the teams in Group H have qualified for the tournament in the past. While Liberia is one of the lowest ranked teams in the group, they came close to reaching the World Cup in 2002 but fell short against Ghana.
Coach Keita, speaking to the Liberia Football Association media department, expressed confidence in his team’s potential for success with proper preparation. Describing Group H as a “tough zone” in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, he remains optimistic about Liberia’s chances of qualifying. Although Keita hasn’t achieved his goal of taking the country to the African Cup of Nations, he emphasized the importance of support for the national team.
“We have talented players and enough time to secure our qualification. Success depends on our preparations and the support we receive. I urge all Liberians to let go of past disappointments and come together in support of the Lone Star. This team has the ability to bring joy to our nation,” said Coach Keita.
Keita, currently preparing his locally-based national team for the African Nations Championship (CHAN), firmly believes Liberia can earn a spot in the 2026 World Cup. He acknowledges the challenging nature of their group, stating, “There are no smaller teams in football. We must respect our opponents. It’s a tough zone for us. However, as a coach, I have great confidence that we can qualify from the group with adequate preparation, support, and friendly matches to strengthen the team.”
The former Lone Star U17 coach also expressed the importance of playing matches at home, highlighting the crucial role fans play in supporting the team during home games. According to the FIFA ranking, two of the six teams in the group will be seeded. These seeded teams will face off against the winners of the first two knockout matches between the four unseeded teams, determining the qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup.
The qualifying matches will span ten matchdays over the next two years, beginning with the first matchday scheduled for November 13-21, 2023. Subsequent matchdays are set for June 3-11, 2024, March 17-25, 2025, September 1-9, 2025, October 6-14, 2025, and November 10-18, 2025.