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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