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2026 FIFA World Cup: Ghana’s Black Stars face tougher qualification road



On May 18, 2023, the CAF executive committee convened in Algiers to announce the alterations to the qualifying process, which will have significant implications for teams across the continent aspiring to secure a spot in the highly esteemed tournament.

After extensive discussions, the committee unanimously agreed to implement a new system that will revolutionize World Cup qualification for African teams. The previous format, which included six qualifying matches, will be replaced by a more demanding structure, featuring 10 group matches.

The new qualifying format will involve the formation of nine groups, with each group comprising six teams. The primary objective of this change is to intensify competition among African nations and increase their opportunities to secure a place in the global showcase.

According to the revised format, the team that finishes atop each group will earn direct qualification for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. This alteration aims to provide a clear and straightforward pathway for the most dominant sides in each group to secure their position on the world stage.

However, the battle for World Cup berths will not be confined solely to the group winners. In an exciting twist to the qualification process, the committee announced that the four best second-place teams from the groups will have a chance to compete for a coveted playoff spot.

This playoff will determine the representative from Africa who will then face off against a team from the Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) region. The outcome of this intercontinental playoff will determine which team ultimately secures a place in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The changes in the qualification format present a greater challenge for Ghana’s national team, the Black Stars, as they now face a longer and more demanding campaign with the aim of securing their spot in the prestigious tournament.



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