2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)
The African section of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification acted as qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, to be held in Russia, for national teams which are members of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). A total of 5 slots in the final tournament were available for CAF teams.
|Dates||7 October 2015 – 14 November 2017|
|Teams||54 (from 1 confederation)|
|Goals scored||309 (2.43 per match)|
|Attendance||2,862,856 (22,542 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Préjuce Nakoulma|
(5 goals each)
The CAF Executive Committee approved the format for the qualifiers of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on 14 January 2015, with three preliminary rounds before a final group stage featuring 20 teams. The number of preliminary rounds was reduced to two, based on information provided by FIFA in early July 2015.
- First round: A total of 26 teams (teams ranked 28–53) played home-and-away over two legs. The 13 winners advanced to the second round.
- Second round: A total of 40 teams (teams ranked 1–27 and 13 first round winners) played home-and-away over two legs. The 20 winners advanced to the third round.
- Third round: The 20 teams which had advanced from the second round were divided into five groups of four teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The winners of each group qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
All 54 FIFA-affiliated football associations from CAF entered qualification. However, Zimbabwe were expelled from the competition on 12 March 2015 due to their failure to pay former coach José Claudinei a severance fee, a decision that the Zimbabwe Football Association unsuccessfully appealed against.
|Bye to second round
(ranked 1st to 27th)
|Competing in first round|
(ranked 28th to 54th)
Note: Niger had to enter the first round as they had fewer FIFA ranking points (345.31) than Benin (345.46) and Libya (345.35). In the FIFA World Rankings, teams share the same ranking if their ranking points round to the same whole number.
The schedule of the competition was as follows.
The draw for the first round was held as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw on 25 July 2015, starting 18:00 MSK (UTC+3), at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||1–3||Ethiopia||1–0||0–3|
|Chad||2–2 (a)||Sierra Leone||1–0||1–2|
|Central African Republic||2–5||Madagascar||0–3||2–2|
The draw for the second round was held as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw on 25 July 2015, starting 18:00 MSK (UTC+3), at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Burundi||2–6||DR Congo||2–3||0–3[note 1]|
|Mozambique||1–1 (3–4 p)||Gabon||1–0||0–1 (a.e.t.)|
|2018 FIFA World Cup qualification tiebreakers|
|In league format, the ranking of teams in each group is based on the following criteria (regulations Articles 20.6 and 20.7):|
|1||Tunisia||6||4||2||0||11||4||+7||14||Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup||—||2–1||0–0||2–0|
|1||Nigeria||6||4||1||1||11||6||+5||13||Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup||—||1–0||4–0||3–1|
|1||Morocco||6||3||3||0||11||0||+11||12||Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup||—||0–0||3–0||6–0|
|1||Senegal||6||4||2||0||10||3||+7||14||Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup||—||0–0||2–0||2–1|
|1||Egypt||6||4||1||1||8||4||+4||13||Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup||—||1–0||2–0||2–1|
The following five teams from CAF qualified for the final tournament.
|Team||Qualified as||Qualified on||Previous appearances in FIFA World Cup1|
|Tunisia||Group A winners||11 November 2017||4 (1978, 1998, 2002, 2006)|
|Nigeria||Group B winners||7 October 2017||5 (1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014)|
|Morocco||Group C winners||11 November 2017||4 (1970, 1986, 1994, 1998)|
|Senegal||Group D winners||10 November 2017||1 (2002)|
|Egypt||Group E winners||8 October 2017||2 (1934, 1990)|
- 1 Bold indicates champions for that year. Italic indicates hosts for that year.
- 5 goals
- 4 goals
After Morocco qualified for the tournament with a 2–0 victory over Ivory Coast, the celebrations by the Moroccan community in Brussels turned into a riot with cars burnt, shops looted by some 300 rioters and 20 police officers injured. Firefighters sent to put out the fires were also attacked by the rioters.
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