Afrique Football What You Need To Know About African Teams In 2026

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has come to a close, meaning the biggest tournament in the football calendar is over for another four years. The competition this year has been full of surprises, incredible talent, and turns we would’ve never expected. One of the most impressive performances came from Morocco, one of the five African nations we’ve seen come face-to-face with some of the best in the world. The team put on an incredible performance, which has left everyone wondering, what does this mean for African teams going into 2026? Read on as we take a look at how the African teams performed this year, and what to expect when the next World Cup arrives.

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Which African teams played in 2022?

The World Cup in Qatar in 2022 saw Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Ghana, and Cameroon competing for the title, and it’s safe to say, many pundits did not have high hopes for the continent – and it could be said that they were the underdogs of the competition behind the most well-known teams like Brazil, Argentina, England, and France. If you’re not familiar with the African teams, there are a few players that you may recognise to help you get an idea of how they may play. Kalidou Koulibaly who currently plays for Chelsea started for Senegal, as well as Edouard Mendy and Sadio Mane previously of Liverpool fame. This world cup was full of surprises, none more so than some of the games that the African teams played, which we will look at in more detail below.

How well did they do?

If you’ve been following the 2022 World Cup, you’ll know about the stunning effort that the Moroccan team put in to knock out some of the best football teams in the world. No one would have ever expected what they were about to see. The team reached the third-place play-off, becoming the first African side in history to make it to that point. The team knocked out the likes of Belgium, and Spain, and won their game against Portugal to come up against France in the last four. Unfortunately, the side could not pull off a win against previous World Cup winners France and finished 4th in the tournament behind Croatia.

Whilst Morocco’s achievements were at the forefront of all our minds, it’s also worth thinking about Senegal in this tournament. The loss of Sadio Mane due to injury was worrying to both the fans, and the team, and although they were beaten by the Netherlands, they made it to the final 16, only to be beaten by England. Whilst Tunisia, Ghana, and Cameroon failed to make it out of the group stages – fans will be eager to see how Cameroon progress over the next few years, having beaten Brazil, one of the best teams in the world, 1-0.

What changes are in place for 2026?

2026 will see the start of the next World Cup in not just one, but 16 cities! The host nations for the next World Cup are Canada, Mexico, and the US. The United States will hold 60 of those matches, and some of the cities will include Seattle, San Francisco, LA and, Boston to name a few. Whilst Mexico will host 10 matches in Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Mexico City. The rest of the games, 10 in total, will take place in Canada, which will see teams travel to Vancouver and Toronto. But where the World Cup is being held isn’t the only change that’s coming in the next 4 years. The number of teams that will be participating in the World Cup is changing too, from 32 teams, expanding to 46.

What does this mean for African teams?

So, what does this change mean for African teams after their success this year? There are 9 guaranteed places up for grabs for teams around Africa in the 2026 World Cup. This means that 9 teams will automatically progress into the group stages, with a final team heading into play-offs with other teams from around the world, to see if they can become the 10th team. Whilst there’s still 4 years to confirm which teams will or will not be heading to the world cup in 2026, this shows that FIFA is making room in the footballing world for teams like Senegal, Morocco, and Tunisia – and with good reason! This nation has as much of a chance as any to win the World Cup, as we’ve seen this year.


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