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CAF Postpones World Cup Qualifiers

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed that the body’s member nations will have to wait until September in order to begin qualifying for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

The group phase of Africa’s World Cup preliminaries were set to start next month with two rounds of qualifiers played in June international widow.

Now the first round of the qualifiers will kick off in September as the region continues to grapple with coronavirus pandemic.

“After taking into consideration the current challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to ensure the optimal playing conditions for all participating teams…the qualifiers will now take place in the existing windows of September, October and November 2021, and March 2022,” reads part of statement posted on CAF website.

“CAF is reassessing its protocols and processes to enhance the implementation of COVID-related protocols, including specifically focusing on pre-match testing which had been the source of some challenges in previous windows.

“Full details on the updated match schedule will be provided in due course.”

Under CAF’s qualifying format, forty teams will compete in 10 groups, and the group winners will advance to the third round which will be played in March 2022.

The five winners of the final round will secure berths in the 2022 World Cup.

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