As the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 approaches, the interest in World Cup predictions is rising. And the World Cup qualifiers performance is one of the things that can help you predict the trajectory of the World Cup. Learn all the important facts about World Cup qualifiers in this article.
🌍 World Cup Qualifiers 2022
Based on the current format, the Fifa World Cup Qualifiers take place over a period of three years or so. The same is true for the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers, which began on 6 June 2019 and are set to conclude on 22 September 2022.
So far, 29 teams have qualified for the main World Cup Qatar 2022 tournament. The hosts, Qatar, got an automatic qualification into the main tournament. But the other 28 teams had to come through the qualifications rounds.
The African World Cup qualifiers rounds have concluded and 5 teams from the region have already qualified. According to the World Cup qualifiers results, the teams from Africa that have qualified include Cameroon, Senegal, Ghana, Tunisia, and Morocco.
Unfortunately, the qualified teams do not include Nigeria. That is because Nigeria’s World Cup qualifiers performance was not up to the mark this time around.
You will find a more detailed analysis of Nigeria’s performance in the African World Cup qualifiers later in the article, so please stay tuned.
As far as the main World Cup Qatar tournament is concerned, the qualified teams are divided into 8 groups. The groups range alphabetically from A to H.
The placement of teams into specific groups happens as a result of random draws. These draws take place in an absolutely fair and neutral way in the presence of many observers.
The top 2 teams from each group will progress to the World Cup playoffs. This includes the Round of 16 followed by the Quarter Finals, the Semi-Finals, and ultimately the Finals.
The World Cup Qualification: How Does It Work?
The World Cup qualifications are organised along regional lines. Basically, the qualification tournament takes place between countries that fall within the same continent.
There are six such World Cup qualifiers groups. The Asian group, for instance, is known as the AFC. While the African World Cup qualifiers are known as the CAF which is named after the abbreviated version of the Confederation of African Football.
Similarly, there are World Cup qualifications for Europe, Oceania, North America, and South America.
The games that lead to qualifications from each group occur in stages or rounds. While some regions may have 3 rounds like Africa, others may have 4 or more such as Asia. In other words, the number of rounds is not fixed in every case.
The number of teams that can qualify for the main World Cup tournament is also not etched in stone. It is decided by the FIFA executive committee, which means that it is liable to change.
For instance, based on the current slots allocation, 5 teams can qualify from the African World Cup qualifiers. Whereas, only 1 team from Oceania can qualify. This allocation of World Cup slots for each region has remained the same for over a decade.
How Does CAF World Cup Qualifying Work?
As mentioned previously, the African World Cup qualifiers section is popularly referred to as the CAF World Cup qualifiers. The top 5 teams from the World Cup qualifiers table Africa to progress to the main tournament.
First, the teams ranked between 27 and 54 compete against each other in the first round. The top 14 teams progress to the second round. Then the top 10 teams from the second round progress to the third and final round.
The 10 teams compete against each other in the final round in a series of knockout matches. The 5 winners get the chance to compete in the main World Cup tournament.
Best Goalscorers During the Qualification
The 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers witnessed some of the most phenomenal performances from individual players. Many of which were breakout performances and one of them was the performance of Ali Mabkhout.
Ali Mabkhout is a striker who plays for his country, the United Arab Emirates, and also the Al Jazira club in the UAE Pro League. With 14 goals under his belt, he rose to become the highest goalscorer as per the 2022 World Cup qualifiers results.
What has been even more impressive is his consistency. He scored 14 goals from 14 appearances, which means he scored every time he appeared for UAE.
Super Eagles During the World Cup Qualification
The Nigeria World Cup qualifiers’ performance has been far from disappointing. The Super Eagles reached the third round of the CAF World Cup qualifiers. It got eliminated in the final knockout stage.
Therefore, even though its performance was not sufficient for it to qualify to the World Cup Qatar, it was commendable nonetheless.
Since Nigeria is one of the top-ranked teams in Africa, it did not have to compete in the first round. It was granted direct entry into the second round from which the team qualified with flying colours.
The Super Eagles emerged as the top team in Group C in the second round. Out of the 6 games they played, they won 4, drew 1, and lost only 1. The only loss the Super Eagles suffered against the Central African Republic.
Things took a bad turn for the Super Eagles in the third round where they were defeated in a tiebreaker by Ghana. The match was tied 1-1 but Ghana was awarded a win based on the away goals rule.
The away goals rule is basically a tie-breaking mechanism wherein the team that has scored the most goals away from home wins the game.
Therefore, you can see how Nigeria lost the chance to play in the World Cup Qatar 2022 by the smallest of margins.
How Many African Teams Qualify for the World Cup?
As mentioned earlier, the number of teams that can qualify for the main FIFA World Cup is decided in advance by the FIFA executive committee. A specific number of slots are allotted to each region.
As far as the African World Cup qualifiers are concerned, only 5 teams can qualify based on the existing slot allocations. The teams that qualified based on the World Cup qualifiers table Africa include some of the best teams in the region.
Teams that will be representing Africa in the 2022 World Cup Qatar include the following:
Algeria and Nigeria were favourites to produce exceptional World Cup qualifiers results. But both teams have failed to qualify for this World Cup.
On the other hand, the qualifications of both Cameroon and Ghana came as a surprise to many pundits as well as fans. Both teams qualified at the last minute based on the away goals rule against favourites Nigeria and Algeria.
Though this may have disappointed many fans, it has the potential to make the tournament more interesting. The absence of strong favourites and the inclusion of unexpected underdogs always spices things up. Both from a spectator’s perspective but even more so from a punter’s perspective.
Where Can I Bet on the World Cup 2022?
If you want to bet on the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar, you will not have to suffer from a dearth of sports betting sites. There are many excellent options for you to choose from. However, having too many options can be confusing.
To make your decision a bit easier, we have compiled a list of the best sports betting sites for FIFA World Cup 2022 betting. You can find the list below.
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As the tournament draws nearer, you will be able to find the latest odds, betting tips, strategies, and much more. So, be sure to check our site regularly before and during the World Cup Qatar tournament.
Nigeria failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The team was defeated by Ghana in the knockout stage of the World Cup qualifiers.
Based on the slot allocations approved by the FIFA executive committee, 5 teams from Africa can progress from the World Cup qualifiers.
Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Tunisia, and Morocco are the 5 teams from Africa that qualified for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
AFCON winners do not automatically qualify for the World Cup. Neither do they get an advantage because of an AFCON win. But AFCON winners are generally high-ranking teams. So, they move directly to the second round of the CAF World Cup qualifiers.