A widely held opinion among a wide sector of fans and the sports press is that Conmebol’s qualifying rounds for the World Cup are the most difficult on the planet, especially compared to UEFA’s. But for the sports journalist Alexis Tamayo, popularly known as MisterChip neither South America nor Europe have the toughest qualifying process, since they consider that Africa is where they live “hell” to reach the World Cup.
“The African qualifiers are hell. They are much more difficult than the European and South American ones. Have no doubt ”, stated the renowned Spanish statistician in one of his recent live broadcasts via social networks.
“I do not know if they are the most spectacular, I do not know if they have the best players, but the most difficult are, by far, the Africans,” added the communicator, who nevertheless acknowledged that the South American qualifiers are “very difficult” and also defended the competitiveness of Europeans.
“The problem with the European qualifying rounds is that, almost always, between two and three teams of a very high level coincide in the group. There is only one direct ticket, “said MisterChip, who also mentioned examples such as Sweden, which reached the quarterfinals in Russia 2018 after qualifying by repechage.
Unlike South America, the 54 national teams that make up the African Football Confederation (CAF) must face up to three rounds before deciding their qualifiers for the World Cup. In the process heading to Qatar 2022, 28 teams played heads-up, of which only 14 made it to the next round.
For the second stage, the remaining 26, plus the 14 from the previous phase, were grouped into 10 groups of four countries each, of which only the first place could reach the final third round, where the winners will be matched in five keys to decide the World Cup.
The distribution of quotas for the Qatar 2022 World Cup establishes that the CAF will have five direct tickets to the group stage of the tournament. Conmebol, meanwhile, has four and a half quotas: the four best classified in the table have the direct pass, while the fifth must play an international playoff against the representative of another confederation.