Concacaf on Tuesday announced its qualifying process for the 2026 World Cup.

Earlier this month, the FIFA Council confirmed that the three World Cup 2026 hosts, Canada, Mexico, and the United States, would automatically qualify for the final competition.

FIFA also confirmed that Concacaf has been allocated a further three direct qualification berths and two FIFA intercontinental playoff berths.

The confederation can have up to eight participating federations at 2026 World Cup.

Qualifying will be played between Concacaf’s other 32 FIFA affiliated member associations, as follows:

First Round: March 2024
Four member associations (two match dates)

The first round will be played between the four lowest ranked Concacaf member associations (based on the FIFA men’s rankings as of November 2023). The four national teams will be split into two matchups, as follows:

* Highest ranked national team vs. lowest ranked national team

* Second highest ranked national team vs. third highest ranked national team

These home-and-away matches will be played in the FIFA match window of March 2024. At the end of the first round, the two winners will progress to the second round.

Second Round

June 2024 to June 2025, 30 member associations (four match dates)

The second round will be played between the two winners from the first round and the confederation’s remaining 28 FIFA member associations.

The 30 men’s senior national teams will be split into six groups of five teams, with each team playing the other teams in their group for a total of four matches per team, two home and two away.

Second round matches will be played during the FIFA match windows of June 2024 and June 2025. At the conclusion of the second round, the group winners and runners-up (12 teams in total) will progress to the final round.

Final Round

Fall of 2025, 12 member associations (six match dates)

The final round of the Concacaf qualifiers will be played between the second round group winners and runners-up (12 teams).

The 12 teams will be split into three groups of four teams. Within each group, teams will play each other home-and-away, with each team playing a total of six matches (three at home and three away).

Final round matches will take place in the FIFA match windows of the Fall 2025 (pending FIFA’s confirmation of the exact window dates). At the end of the final round, the three group winners will qualify directly to the 2026 FIFA World Cup, joining hosts Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

The two best second place finishers will qualify to the World Cup 2026 intercontinental playoffs.

Further details regarding the intercontinental playoff will be announced by FIFA in the future.