The CAF 2026 World Cup Qualifiers Draw has been revealed with Morocco, who reached the semi-finals of the World Cup, getting an easy group.
The draw for the African qualifiers took place in Abidjan on Thursday, with the top team from each of the nine groups, consisting of six countries, automatically qualifying for the World Cup.
The top four runners-up will participate in an African playoff stage, where the winners will then compete in the inter-confederation playoffs in March 2026. This guarantees Africa nine spots in the expanded 48-team finals, with a possibility of a tenth team being added through the playoffs.
Morocco has been placed in a group with Zambia, Congo-Brazzaville, Tanzania, Niger, and Eritrea, and is expected to be the strong favorite to finish first in the group. They had an exciting journey to the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar last year, becoming the first African team to reach that stage of the tournament, and ultimately finished in fourth place.
Senegal, the African champions, have a challenging path ahead as they are grouped with the Democratic Republic of Congo and face a potentially difficult away match in Mauritania. They will also play against Togo, Sudan, and South Sudan.
Nigeria and South Africa, on the other hand, may not be pleased with their draw as they have been paired together along with Benin, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Lesotho. Nigeria and South Africa have a longstanding rivalry and would prefer not to face each other. Group I also features a significant clash between Mali and Ghana, who will also have to contend with Madagascar, Central African Republic, Comoros, and Chad.
Tunisia has participated in five out of the last seven World Cups and will feel optimistic about their chances again due to a seemingly easy draw. They will face Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Malawi, Liberia, and Sao Tome e Principe, and there shouldn’t be many difficulties for them. Algeria, on the other hand, experienced a heartbreaking loss in the playoffs to Cameroon, which prevented them from qualifying for the 2022 finals.
However, they will be confident in their ability to secure a spot in the next World Cup as they compete against Guinea, Uganda, Mozambique, Botswana, and Somalia. The group stage matches will take place on November 13th-21st, 2023, and October 6th-14th, 2025. The African playoff stage is scheduled for November 10th-18th, 2025.
CAF 2026 World Cup Qualifiers Draw
Group A: Egypt, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Djibouti
Group B: Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, 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: Ivory Coast, 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