FIFA have established Canada’s pathway for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Qualifiers beginning with an initial round of four matches against Group B opponents Aruba, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Suriname. In all, 30 Concacaf nations will compete in this first round from which only the six group winners will advance to a second round of head-to-head knockout series.
LISTEN : Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach John Herdman on CanadaSoccer.com
The schedule and locations for these matches will be announced at a later date, with health and safety a priority before any international travel. As always, Canada Soccer will continue to closely monitor all COVID-19 developments in consultation with the Public Health Agency of Canada and relevant governing bodies through the Canada Soccer Sport Medicine Committee to ensure the safety of all players and staff.
“Canada Soccer continues to prioritize the safety for all of our players and staff throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer General Secretary. “With the gradual return of domestic football and our players back in action in leagues around the world, we are hopeful that we can soon have our players together again on the pitch for international football once it is safe to do so.”
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Preliminary Draw was broadcast live on FIFA.com and TSN.ca. For the first round, Canada’s four matches will be played across two FIFA international windows. In the first international window, Canada will face Bermuda on the Thursday and then Cayman Islands on the Sunday just three days later. In the second international window, Canada will face Aruba on the Saturday and then Suriname three days later on the Tuesday.
“We want to ensure that our best players wear the red shirt and represent Canada because those players want to change the sport in our country by qualifying for the FIFA World Cup™,” said John Herdman, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach. “There is a group of players that have been part of the battle these past two years, they’ve been developing together on and off the pitch and they will be the narrators of what could be an amazing story for soccer in this country.
“It is important that when competing in Concacaf, at a stage where every game has so much at stake, that we are always at our strongest. We know this a long campaign consisting of 20 matches to reach Qatar 2022 and there are various stages in this campaign for which we have to plan, but we will be taking it one game at a time with a laser-like focus on reaching the Concacaf Final Round.”
From the first round, the Group B winner will face the Group E winner in a second-round, head-to-head series, with the match dates and locations to be announced at a later date. The winner from that second round then advances to the Concacaf Final Round of eight nations in which each nation will play each opponent twice (once at home and once on the road).
CANADA SOCCER’S MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM PROGRAM
Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team, two-time Concacaf champions, were one of only four nations that have finished top-six across all three of Concacaf major tournaments across the past three years: fifth place in Concacaf Nations League A and sixth place at both the 2017 and 2019 Concacaf Gold Cups. In 2019 against Concacaf’s top three nations, Canada earned a victory against USA in Concacaf Nations League as well as eliminated both Mexico (U-15) and Costa Rica (U-17) in Concacaf youth competitions.
Canada Soccer outlines return to soccer guidelines. The return to soccer guidelines provide member organizations with a five-step process, including a checklist of weighted questions known as the Return to Soccer Assessment Tool.