Every soccer fan knows that the ultimate goal is always playing and winning the World Cup and 2022’s edition is going to be particularly interesting. Canada will not have it easy from the get-go, as just qualifying is setting up to be a demanding challenge for the country’s team.
20 Games, One Goal
Since the CONCACAF’s qualifying format has been revamped, the Canadian team is required to play a total of 20 matches, to earn their place in the World Cup. This is the result of having only the top 5 teams in the FIFA rankings going to the final round directly.
30 Countries Fighting for the Spots
There is a total of 30 countries under the CONCACAF that will have to play their way into World Cup qualification. They will be divided into six groups, each one having five teams all seeded by the top 6 teams. October and November will see the teams facing every other member of the group they are in, throughout four matches.
The winners of these matches will be playing against the other groups’ members, with games alternating so that each team gets to play at home at least once. Finally, in March 2021, they play a final series resulting in three winners that will face the top 5 teams in June.
14 Matches to Qualification
This final round will be played June, then September through November, January 2022, and the last one in March of that year. The top 3 teams in these games will be automatically qualified for the World Cup, with the 4th in ranking having to play the FIFA intercontinental playoff scheduled for June 2022.
Interesting Times Call for Interesting Measures
These modifications have been made due to the different obstacles that the pandemic and the measures to control it have presented for the world of soccer. Many teams were unable to even complete the FIFA ranking cycle and thus it wasn’t a fair approach to keep the rankings as they were.
Soccer fans all over the world must be glad that this pandemic did not happen during the World Cup year, but here we can see that it has had its impact on it, nevertheless. All Canadian team supporters will have a thrilling time watching them play those 20 games to earn a place back into the World Cup.