Everything you need to know about 2026 World Cup qualifying for Africa

Published on: 16 November 2023

Discover dates, qualifying format and the number of tickets to the next FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Play-Off Tournament in Africa.


The Africa Zone (CAF) qualifiers for the 26 FIFA World Cup begin on 13 November 2023 and end in November 2025.

Tickets to FIFA World Cup 26

Nine African teams are guaranteed to compete in the World Cup. Another will participate in the FIFA Play-off Tournament.

How qualifying works

The African qualifiers will be played across two rounds. The first will be contested in the form of a group stage, with nine groups of six teams each. Each team will play two matches, home and away, against each of their opponents. The top finisher in each group will qualify for World Cup 26.

The second round will pit the four best runners-up in two one-off semi-finals, followed by a final. The winner of this second round will participate in the FIFA Play-off Tournament.

First-round groups

GROUP A Egypt Burkina Faso Guinea-Bissau Sierra Leone Ethiopia Djibouti

GROUP B Senegal Congo DR Mauritania Togo Sudan South Sudan

GROUP C Nigeria South Africa Benin Zimbabwe Rwanda Lesotho

GROUP D Cameroon Cape Verde Angola Libya Eswatini Mauritius

GROUP E Morocco Zambia Congo Tanzania Niger Eritrea

GROUP F Côte d'Ivoire Gabon Kenya The Gambia Burundi Seychelles

GROUP G Algeria Guinea Uganda Mozambique Botswana Somalia

GROUP H Tunisia Equatorial Guinea Namibia Malawi Liberia Sao Tome e Principe

GROUP I Mali Ghana Madagascar Central African Republic Comoros Chad

The schedule

  • 13-21 November 2023: 1st and 2nd matchdays
  • 3-11 June 2024: 3rd and 4th matchdays
  • 17-25 March 2025: 5th and 6th matchdays
  • 1-9 September 2025: 7th and 8th matchdays
  • 6-14 October 2025: 9th and 10th matchdays
  • 10-18 November 2025: CAF playoff tournament

FIFA Play-Off Tournament

The FIFA Play-Off Tournament will see six sides fight it out for the final two places at the 23rd FIFA World Cup.

It will involve two teams from Concacaf and one team apiece from the AFC, CAF, CONMEBOL and OFC.

The four lowest-ranked nations will meet in bracket semi-finals.

The two highest-ranked teams will go directly into the finals. The winners of the two bracket finals will reach the FIFA World Cup 26.

FIFA World Cup appearances

8 – Cameroon

6 – Morocco

6 – Nigeria

6 – Tunisia

4 – Ghana

4 – Algeria

3 – Senegal

3 – Egypt

3 – South Africa

3 – Côte d'Ivoire

1 – DR Congo (under the banner of Zaire)

1 – Angola

1 – Togo