North & Central America

  • Total # of Teams = 35
  • # of Teams that Qualify = 3.5
  • # of Rounds = 5 and a playoff (for the 0.5 slot)

Round 1

The 14 lowest ranked teams (according to the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking) are paired together in a home-and-away series.  The 7 winners of those matchups via aggregate score are paired with the next 13 lowest ranked CONCACAF teams in Round 2.

Round 2

The 7 teams from Round 1 join the next 13 lowest ranked teams from CONCACAF.  The 20 teams are paired together in a home-and-away series.  The 10 winners of those matchups via aggregate score are paired with the next 2 lowest ranked CONCACAF teams in Round 3.

The teams play one another round-robin,  home-and-away where points are calculated for wins (3), ties (1) and losses (0).  The 8 group winners and the 4 2nd place teams with the most points qualify for Round 3 of qualifying in Asia.

Round 3

The 10 teams from Round 2 join the next 2 lowest ranked teams from CONCACAF.  The 12 teams are paired together in a home-and-away series.  The 6 winners of those matchups via aggregate score proceed to Round 4.

Round 4

The 6 teams from Round 3 join the 6 highest ranking CONCACAF teams in Round 4.  The 12 teams are grouped together in two groups of 6 in a round-robin,  home-and-away where points are calculated for wins (3), ties (1) and losses (0).  The top 3 teams from each group advance to Round 5 (known as “The Hex”).

Round 5 – “The Hex”

The top 3 teams from each group of Round 4 are now thrown into 1 group of 6.  The teams compete in a round-robin,  home-and-away where points are calculated for wins (3), ties (1) and losses (0).  The top 3 teams from the group qualify for Russia 2018!  The 4th place team proceeds to the “Playoff Round” as the 0.5 slot.

Playoff Round

For CONCACAF, this Playoff Round is a home-and-away, aggregate score matchup with the participant from Asia.  The winner of this Playoff Round qualifies for Russia 2018!

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/preliminaries/africa/index.html

Click Here for live snapshot of current qualifying campaign.

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