CONCACAF divides its teams into six groups for qualifying in 2026

MIAMI.- The World Cup qualifiers in the CONCACAF They were defined on Thursday with the draw for the second round of 30 nations that will leave 12 in the race for the three direct places that will join the United States, Mexico and Canada in the 2026 tournament.

The three largest countries in the confederation automatically qualified as co-hosts of a world which will expand to 48 teams and 104 games.

Under the format that was announced in February of last year, the lowest-ranked teams in CONCACAF will play round-trip series in March to access the second round. Anguilla will face Turks and Caicos, while the US Virgin Islands will face the British Virgin Islands.

This is how the draw for the World Cup qualifiers turned out:

Group A: Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Honduras.

Group B: Bahamas, Costa Rica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago.

Group C: Aruba, Barbados, Curacao, Haiti, Saint Lucia.

Group D: Belize, Guyana, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama.

Group E: Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Jamaica, winner of US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands.

Group F: El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, winner of Turks and Caicos-Anguilla.

Each nation will play four matches between June 2024 and June 2025. The top two in each group will advance to the next round and another draw will be held to divide the 12 teams into three groups of four. Each will play six matches between September and November 2025 and the three group winners will qualify.

The two best third parties will advance to the intercontinental playoffs, which will include one country from each confederation of South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

The return of the biggest football festival to North American territory has many fans in the region excited, especially after a team from the continent, Argentina, became champion in Qatar 2022.

FOUNTAIN: With information from AP