African World Cup qualifying groups postponed to September

ZURICH — African qualifying groups for next year’s World Cup have been postponed and will start in September instead of June, FIFA said Thursday.

FIFA cited “current disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic” for the decision, which was taken along with the Confederation of African Football.

Ten groups of four teams each were scheduled to play two rounds of games from June 5-14, and two more in each of September and October. The groups will now run through November.

The 10 group winners will advance to a playoff round that has now been postponed from November to March. The five winners of two-leg playoffs will represent Africa at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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