COSAFA nations await World Cup qualifier fate this month

The COSAFA nations competing in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers will learn their fate on January 21 when the draw for the pool stages takes place in Cairo.

Eight nations from Southern Africa remain in the running for a place in Qatar, with the next phase of qualification to start in the March FIFA International window.

But first the teams must be placed in pools and this will take place at the draw ceremony in the Egyptian capital.

The nations have been seeded based on their December FIFA Rankings and that means some Southern African teams know they will definitely avoid each other, as teams with the same seeding will be drawn into different groups.

Pot 1: Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon, Mali, DR Congo

Pot 2: South Africa, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Uganda, Cape Verde, Gabon, Benin, Zambia, Congo-Brazzaville

Pot 3: Madagascar, Mauritania, Libya, Mozambique, Kenya, Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Niger, Namibia, Guinea-Bissau

Pot 4: Malawi, Angola, Togo, Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Liberia, Djibouti

But it does also mean that, potentially, there could be a pool with as many as three COSAFA nations.

The 40 teams will be drawn into 10 groups each containing four sides, with the pool winners advancing to a knockout round where they will play an opponent over two legs to determine the five teams to play in Qatar.