2026 World Cup Qualifying (Live Updates)

Live updated World Cup 2026 Qualifying Models:


Note: All models use set FIFA Rankings based on the most current rankings.  Some teams may be shown as automatically through to a given round, but this is only using current FIFA rankings.  Changes in rankings will affect models.

AFC (8 Direct, 1 Playoff)

Round 1 (COMPLETE)
The bottom 20 ranked teams play in home-and-away head-to-head matchups.  Winners advance to Rd 2

Round 2 (2/6 matchdays complete)
Remaining 36 teams (Top 26 ranked + 10 Rd 1 winners) drawn into 9 groups of 4.  Play a double round robin.  Top 2 finishers in each group advance to Rd 3

Round 3
Remaining 18 teams (Top 2 from each Rd 2 group) drawn into 3 groups of 6.  Play a double round robin.  Top 2 finishers in each group qualify directly to World Cup.  3rd/4th place finishers in each group advance to Rd 4

Round 4
Remaining 6 teams (3rd/4th place finishers from each Rd 3 group) drawn into 2 groups of 3.  Play single round robin at neutral site.  Winner of each group qualifies directly to World Cup.  2nd place teams advance to Rd 5

Round 5
Remaining 2 teams (2nd place teams from each Rd 4 group) play one match at a neutral site.  Winner qualifies to Intercontinental Playoff

Update - 3/26/24

CAF (9 Direct, 1 Playoff)

Round 1 (2/10 matchdays complete)
54 Teams drawn into 9 groups of 6 teams.  Play a double round robin.  Top finisher in each group qualifies directly to World Cup.  Top 4 runners up (as ranked by Pts;GD;GF) advance to Rd 2

Round 2
4 remaining teams drawn into 2 semifinal matches.  Single-leg matches played.  Winners play in single-leg match.  Winner qualifies for Intercontinental Playoff

Update - 2/21/24

CONCACAF (6 Direct, 2 Playoff)

Note: Hosts USA, Mexico, Canada automatically qualified

Round 1
Teams ranked 29-32 are drawn into pairs, and play a home-and-away series.  Winners advance to Rd 2

Round 2
30 remaining teams (Teams ranked 4-28 & 2 winners from Rd 1) are drawn into 6 groups of 5 teams.  play single round robin.  Top 2 teams in each group advance to Rd 3

Round 3
12 remaining teams drawn into 3 groups of 4.  Play double round robin.  Group winners qualify directly to World Cup.  2 best runners-up qualify to Intercontinental Playoff

Update - 3/26/24

CONMEBOL (6 Direct, 1 Playoff)

Round 1 (6/18 matchdays complete)
10 teams play double round robin.  Top 6 finishers qualify directly to the World Cup.  7th place qualifies for the Intercontinental Playoff

Update - 3/26/24

OFC (1 Direct, 1 Playoff)

Round 1
Teams ranked 8-11 play a single-round knockout tournament.  Winner moves on to Rd 2

Round 2
8 remaining teams (Teams ranked 1-7 and winner of Rd 1) are drawn into 2 groups of 4.  Play double round robin.  Top 2 finishers in each group move on to Round 3

Round 3
4 remaining teams are drawn into semifinal pairings.  Play single-leg semifinal.  Winners play single-leg final.  Winner qualifies directly to World Cup.  Loser qualifies to Intercontinental Playoff

Update - 12/2/23

UEFA (16 Direct)

Round 1
54 (as Russia is currently excluded) teams drawn into groups of 4 or 5 teams.  Play double round robin.  Group winners qualify directly to World Cup.  Runners-up advance to Rd 2

Round 2
16 teams (12 runners-up from Rd 1, 4 highest ranked Group Winners from '24-'25 Nations League that didn't already directly qualify) drawn into 4 playoff paths, with 2 semifinals each.  Semifinals are hosted by seeded teams.  Winners play in a final to qualify directly to World Cup

Update - 1/20/24

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