African (CAF) 2026 World Cup qualifying schedule, results, table

A record nine teams will qualify for the 2026 World Cup, and 10 is a possibility as the 54 nations of CAF begin their battle for places in the North American-based tournament.

Well, technically it's already down to 53, as Eritrea has withdrawn from qualification, but we'll lay out the schedule, standings, and more in this post.

[ MORE: How will 48-team 2026 World Cup work? ]

There are stars from around world soccer in CAF, including dozens of Premier League players like Manchester United's Andre Onana, West Ham's Mohammed Kudus, Tottenham's Yves Bissouma, and a trio of Nottingham Forest stars on the Ivory Coast.

Competition will be fierce with only one guaranteed spot available to Mali and Ghana (Group I), Nigeria and South Africa (Group C), and Senegal and DR Congo (Group B).

Here's everything you need to know for African World Cup qualifying.

Premier League players in African (CAF) 2026 World Cup qualification

Algeria: Rayan Ait-Nouri (Wolves), Said Benrahma (West Ham)

Benin: Halid Djankpata (Everton)

Burkina Faso: Bertrand Traore (Aston Villa), Dango Ouattara (Bournemouth)

Cameroon: Andre Onana (Manchester United), Bryan Mbeumo (Brentford), Carlos Baleba (Brighton)

Dem Rep of Congo: Yoane Wissa (Brentford)

Egypt: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal)

Equatorial Guinea: Basilio Rieno (Burnley)

Gabon: Mario Lemina (Wolves)

Ghana: Tariq Lamptey (Brighton), Mohammed Kudus (West Ham), Thomas Partey (Arsenal), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), Antoine Semenyo (Bournemouth), Jeff Schlupp (Crystal Palace)

Ivory Coast: Serge Aurier (Nottingham Forest), Willy Boly (Nottingham Forest), Ibrahim Sangare (Nottingham Forest), Hamed Traore (Bournemouth), Simon Adingra (Brighton), Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Everton), Amad Diallo (Manchester United), Maxwel Cornet (West Ham)

Mali: Yves Bissouma (Tottenham), Cheick Doucoure (Crystal Palace), Ismaila Coulibaly (Sheffield United), Boubacar Traore (Wolves)

Morocco: Nayef Aguerd (West Ham), Sofyan Amrabat (Manchester United), Anass Zaroury (Burnley)

Nigeria: Calvin Bassey (Fulham), Alex Iwobi (Fulham), Frank Onyeka (Brentford), Emmanuel Dennis (Nottingham Forest)

Senegal: Moussa Niakhate (Nottingham Forest), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton), Cheikhou Kouyate (Nottingham Forest), Pape Sarr (Tottenham), Nicolas Jackson (Chelsea)

South Africa: Lyle Foster (Burnley)

Tunisia: Hannibal Mejbri (Manchester United), Anis Ben Slimane (Sheffield United), Samy Chouchane (Brighton)

Zimbabwe: Admiral Muskwe (Luton Town)

African (CAF) 2026 World Cup qualification format

  • First round (Nov. 15, 2023 - Oct. 14 2025): 54 teams, nine groups, top team from each group qualifies for World Cup, four best runners-up go to playoff semifinals

  • Second round (Nov. 10-18, 2025): Four best group runners-up stage semifinal, final. Winner plays inter-confederation playoff.

African (CAF) World Cup qualification schedule — First round fixtures, results

Matchday 1

Wednesday, November 15

Equatorial Guinea vs Namibia — 8am ET

Rwanda vs Zimbabwe — 8am ET
DR Congo vs Mauritania — 11am ET
Ethiopia vs Sierra Leone — 2pm ET

Thursday, November 16

Burundi vs Gambia — 8am ET
Botswana vs Mozambique —8am ET
Nigeria vs Lesotho — 11am ET
Sudan vs Togo — 11am ET
Gabon vs Kenya — 11am ET
Algeria vs Somalia — 11am ET
Egypt vs Djibouti — 11am ET
Morocco vs Eritrea — canceled
Cape Verde vs Angola — 2pm ET

Friday, November 17

Eswatini vs Libya — 8am ET
Comoros vs Central African Republic — 8am ET
Guinea vs Uganada — 8am ET
Liberia vs Malawi — 11am ET
Zambia vs Rep. Congo — 11am ET
Ghana vs Madagascar — 11am ET
Mali vs Chad — 2pm ET
Burkina Faso vs Guinea-Bissau — 2pm ET
Tunisia vs Sao Tome and Principe — 2pm ET
Ivory Coast vs Seychelles — 2pm ET
Cameroon vs Mauritius — 2pm ET

Saturday, November 18

South Africa vs Benin — 8am ET
Niger vs Tanzania — 11am ET
Senegal vs South Sudan — 2pm ET

Matchday 2

Sunday, November 19

Zimbabwe vs Nigeria — 8am ET
Burundi vs Gabon — 8am ET
Mozambique vs Algeria — 8am ET
Sudan vs DR Congo — 11am ET
Sierra Leone vs Egypt — 11am ET

Monday, November 20
Djibouti vs Guinea-Bissau — 8am ET
Gambia vs Ivory Coast — 11am ET
Eritrea vs Rep Congo — canceled
Liberia vs Equatorial Guinea — 11am ET
Seychelles vs Kenya — 2pm ET
Mali vs Central African Republic — 2pm ET
Chad vs Madagascar — 2pm ET

Tuesday, November 21
Lesotho vs Benin — 8am ET

African (CAF) 2026 World Cup qualification — Standings/table

Group A

  1. Burkina Faso

  2. Djibouti

  3. Egypt

  4. Ethiopia

  5. Guinea-Bissau

  6. Sierra Leone

Group B

  1. Democratic Republic of Congo

  2. Mauritania

  3. Senegal

  4. South Sudan

  5. Sudan

  6. Togo

Group C

  1. Benin

  2. Lesotho

  3. Nigeria

  4. Rwanda

  5. South Africa

  6. Zimbabwe

Group D

  1. Angola

  2. Cape Verde

  3. Cameroon

  4. Eswatini

  5. Libya

  6. Mauritius

Group E

  1. Republic of Congo

  2. Morocco

  3. Niger

  4. Tanzania

  5. Zambia

  6. Eritrea — withdrew

Group F

  1. Burundi

  2. Ivory Coast

  3. Gabon

  4. Gambia

  5. Kenya

  6. Seychelles

Group G

  1. Algeria

  2. Botswana

  3. Guinea

  4. Mozambique

  5. Somalia

  6. Uganda

Group H

  1. Equatorial Guinea

  2. Liberia

  3. Malawi

  4. Namibia

  5. Sao Tome and Principe

  6. Tunisia

Group I

  1. Central African Republic

  2. Chad

  3. Comoros

  4. Ghana

  5. Madagascar

  6. Mali