CONCACAF keeps hexagonal in new World Cup qualifying format

CONCACAF keeps hexagonal in new World Cup qualifying format”

Canada has only ever qualified for the World Cup once, in 1986, when it failed to score a goal and exited after three straight losses.

Hexagonal format. The top six ranked Concacaf teams based on the FIFA Ranking published after the FIFA window of June 2020 will play the same 10-game league format that has been used since qualifying for the 1998 World Cup.

The 29 teams will be divided into eight groups (five groups of four teams and three groups of three teams), and after home-and-away series in round-robin play during the Federation Internationale de Football Association windows of September, October and November 2020, the eight group winners will move into a knock-out stage.

Each team in the hex plays 10 qualifiers, which will take place in September, October and November 2020, and in March and September of 2021 - ending 14 months before the 32-nation tournament in Qatar kicks off in November 2022.

The quarter finals, semifinals and final matches of the knock out phase will all be played in a home-and-away direct elimination format, during the FIFA Match windows of March, June and September 2021. The top three place-getters will then automatically qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

As of right now, though six teams would be No. 18 Mexico, No. 30 USA, No. 39 Costa Rica, No. 54 Jamaica, No. 61 Honduras and No. 69 El Salvador.

Victor of the knockout phase will then play the fourth-place team from the Hex in a home-and-away playoff in October 2021. The eight group winners will move into a knockout stage. So too would Haiti after its run to the Gold Cup semifinals.

The changes are meant to place more importance and a bigger sense of occasion on each match.

This is complex, but overall it gives some chances to the smaller CONCACAF nations as well as keeping the status quo.

The U.S. will be trying to rebound from its failure to qualify for last year's tournament in Russian Federation, which ended a streak of seven straight World Cup appearances.

Now, with the Nations League set to begin in September and the qualification format modified, the lower-ranked teams will be playing more frequent official matches. "So if you look at it from that angle, it would be very hard and a disadvantage, but it is giving countries an opportunity that they didn't have [before] to qualify for the World Cup".

With the CONCACAF Nations League kicking off this fall, there are plenty of changes in the region and the main theme throughout all of these alterations is to give more meaningful global games and give extra incentives for smaller nations to not only qualify for big tournaments, but play qualifiers against some of the bigger nations.

"This new FIFA World Cup qualifying format, based on the FIFA rankings, makes every competitive match count".

Qualifying will start in September 2020.

Still, when it comes to the new World Cup qualification format, things get clouded a little.

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