Malawi national football team, the Flames have been paired with fellow Confederation of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) opponents, Botswana for the preliminary round of the 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers.
The first leg of the preliminary qualifiers will be away for the Flames to be played on the weekend of March 23, 2020 and in June 2020.
The draw was conducted by Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Monday morning and its website, CAFonline.com says the draw was based on the FIFA ranking published last June 2019 for 28 teams.
CAF’s 26 top-ranked teams have been excluded from this preliminary round.
In the preliminary rounds, the 28 teams will be paired to compete over two legs, with 14 higher ranked teams playing the first legs away to their lower ranked opponents.
The full pairings for Cosafa teams are as follows: Ethiopia vs Lesotho; Somalia vs Zimbabwe; Eritrea vs Namibia; Djibouti vs Eswatini; Gambia vs Angola; Mauritius vs Mozambique and Seychelles vs Rwanda.
The other fixtures are South Sudan vs Equatorial Guinea; Chad vs Sudan; Liberia vs Sierra Leone; Sao Tome & Princepe vs Guinea-Bissau; Comoros vs Togo while surprise package at the 2019 Egypt Africa Cup of Nations Tanzania date Burundi in an East African derby.
The 14 winners will then join the 26 Nations to be divided into 10 groups of four teams each and at the end of the group stage, the 10 group winners will be paired, based on ranking, to compete in a two-legged play-off round.
During this round the 5 higher ranked teams will play the first legs away. The 5 winners teams will represent Africa at the Fifa World Cup to be hosted by Qatar in 2022.
Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia, Senegal and Morocco represented the continent at the last event in Russia.
According to CAFonline.com, Africa was hoping the proposal to expand the 2022 World Cup comes to pass so as give the continent more places in the global event but the idea wasn’t adopted for the next World so the number participants stay at 32 nations with Africa to have 5 representatives.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :