Wed | Oct 21, 2020

Concacaf restructures World Cup 2022 Qualifying format

Published:Monday | July 27, 2020 | 4:14 PMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer -
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz.
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz.

Jamaica's path to the 2022 FIFA World Cup will begin next June and will see the number of teams in the final Concacaf qualifying round increase, as the revamped framework was released today by the regional governing body.

Concacaf's previous final round qualifying tournament, known commonly as the 'hex' because it features six teams, will now change to an eight team tournament. It will consist of the top five ranked nations in the region based on FIFA rankings as of July 16, and three additional nations to be determined by a tournament involving other nations. Jamaica, being ranked fourth in the region, have booked their place in the final round with Mexico, USA, Costa Rica and Honduras. The top three teams will advance automatically to the World Cup while the fourth place team will enter a continental playoff.

The tournament to decide the other final round qualifiers will be in October and will see the 30 other nations drawn into six groups of five, with the six highest ranked teams, El Salvador, Canada, Curacao, Panama, Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago being pre-seeded into groups A-F. Teams will play each other once with group winners advancing to the second round where they will play each other in home and away playoff matches next March. The winners of those playoffs advance to the final round and complete the eight team tournament.

The final round is scheduled to last through to March 2022 with each team playing 14 matches.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com