Cameroon enters the race for Africa’s 2026 World Cup Qualifiers this November 18, 2023 in a clash with the Mauritius Island.
The match counts for Day One of ten qualifying matches the team will play in order to get a ticket to the 2026 World Cup to hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico from June 11 to July 19, 2026.
About Africa’s 2026 World Cup Qualifiers Tournament
During the FIFA Council meeting in Bahrain in 2017, FIFA announced it would expand the World Cup to 48 teams in the 2026 World Cup. This meant an addition of 16 nations.
Following this format, Africa was guaranteed nine places, up from the usual five (six in 2010), with a tenth African nation able to enter the competition through a six-team inter-confederation play-off tournament where the two finalists will win a ticket to the competition.
Since nine teams are now in the race, CAF announced a new qualification format in the form of a tournament on May 19, 2023.
Accordingly, teams from all 54 African countries were drawn into nine groups of six teams each.
The winner of each group will directly qualify for the World Cup meanwhile the four best runners-up from this group stage will participate in the inter-confederation play-offs.
The FIFA inter-confederation Play-Off Tournament will involve two teams from the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), and one team from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC).
Cameroon’s Stakes in Day-One Match
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, Cameroon’s representatives at Africa’s World Cup Qualifiers Tournament are expected to win the game against the Club M of Mauritius in order to start off the competition with a clean slate.
With the opening match being played on home soil, the Indomitable Lions must secure a win in order to benefit from a plus since losing at home may have negative consequences if the team, after ten matches, has to be rated by the “away goals rule”.
Moreover, beginning with a win will generally boost the morale of players as well as supporters.
Eleanor Ayuketah Ngochi