Ghana draw bye in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Author: Derrick Elorm Adzokpa
The Black Stars team begin their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign at the group stage in March next year

The draw for the preliminary round of the African qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was held in Egypt on Monday afternoon with Ghana's Black Stars and the continent's top-ranked teams drawing a bye.

The draw involved the 28 lowest-ranked sides in accordance with the FIFA Coca-Cola July ranking and the matches will take place from September 2 to 10.

The draw also featured six teams out of the 24 teams which participated at the just-ended Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, namely: Burundi, Tanzania, Guinea-Bissau, Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia.

Two teams out of the six which featured at the AFCON will also face each other as Burundi clash with Tanzania, while Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and Guinea-Bissau face Somalia, Eritrea, The Gambia and Sao Tome e Principe respectively.

The 14 countries which qualify over the two legs and the 26 countries which drew a bye will be split into 10 groups of four after a fresh draw with the first matches scheduled for March 2020.

The group winners will go into five two-leg playoffs in November 2020, with the winners qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The fixtures of the 2022 FIFA World Cup preliminary round draw for Africa are as follows:

Ethiopia v Lesotho

Somalia v Zimbabwe

Eritrea v Namibia

Burundi v Tanzania

Djibouti v Eswatini

Botswana v Malawi

The Gambia v Angola

Liberia v Sierra Leone

Mauritius v Mozambique

Sao Tome e Principe v Guinea-Bissau

South Sudan v Equatorial Guinea

Comoros v Togo

Chad v Sudan

Seychelles v Rwanda