Africa’s long road to Qatar 2022 begins this week

Africa’s long road to Qatar 2022 begins this week
Burundi Team Picture during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Burundi and Guinea at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 28 June 2019 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Tuesday Sep 03, 2019. 08:00

The long road to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar opens for African teams with 14 two-legged first round ties played across the continent over the next week.

The first round sees the 28-lowest ranked CAF teams battle for the right to progress into the group stage, where they will join 26 teams already given a bye into the second round based on their ranking.

The actions gets underway tomorrow [Wednesday] afternoon, and sees some notable teams in action, including 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finalists Tanzania, Burundi, Namibia and Guinea-Bissau.

The East African derby between Burundi and Tanzania, with the first leg in Bujumbura on Wednesday, is the pick of the early ties, but also keep an eye out for an all West African clash between Liberia and Sierra Leone from Monrovia. The latter have been out of international football for some time due to a FIFA sanction and will be hoping to return to competitive play with a bang.

Thursday sees another 2019 AFCON team in action as Zimbabwe head to Djibouti for a clash against Somalia, while Seychelles host Rwanda and Chad tackle Sudan in Ndjamena.

Friday sees the entry of Angola (another 2019 AFCON representative) and Togo (both nations qualified for the 2006 World Cup, the only teams in the first round to have appeared on the global stage before) away to Gambia and Comoros Islands respectively, before the first leg matches wrap up on Saturday with a Southern African derby, as Botswana host Malawi in Francistown.

The return leg matches will be held on Sunday 8 September and Tuesday 10 September.

2022 World Cup qualifiers, CAF first round fixtures

First legs

Wednesday 4 September

15:00: Burundi v Tanzania

15:00: Eritrea v Namibia

15:00: Ethiopia v Lesotho

15:00: South Sudan v Equatorial Guinea

16:30: Mauritius v Mozambique

17:00: Djibouti v Eswatini

17:30: Sao Tome e Principe v Guinea Bissau

20:00: Liberia v Sierra Leone

Thursday 5 September

14:00: Seychelles v Rwanda

16:30: Chad v Sudan

17:00: Somalia v Zimbabwe

Friday 6 September

14:00: Comoros Islands v Togo

19:00: Gambia v Angola

Saturday 7 September

16:00: Botswana v Malawi

Second legs

Sunday 8 September

15:00: Lesotho v Ethiopia

15:00: Tanzania v Burundi

15:00: Zimbabwe v Somalia

18:00: Equatorial Guinea v South Sudan

18:30: Sierra Leone v Liberia

Tuesday 10 September

15:00: Eswatini v Djibouti

15:00: Malawi v Botswana

16:00: Mozambique v Mauritius

17:00: Angola v Gambia

18:00: Rwanda v Seychelles

18:00: Togo v Comoros Islands

18:30: Guinea Bissau v Sao Tome e Principe

19:00: Namibia v Eritrea

19:00: Sudan v Chad

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