Latest updates

Check the Important info page for latest updates! (15 February 2024)

Sunday, September 3, 2023

CAF qualification World Cup 2026: 10.000 simulations (September 2023)

The match schedule for the group stage matches in African qualification for the World Cup 2026 is finally released, so now I'm able to simulate the process. The format is very simple: all 54 African teams are divided in 9 groups of 6 teams and the 9 group winners qualify for the World Cup.

The 4 best ranked group runners-up will qualify for a play-off, consisting of two one-off semi finals and a one-off final to determine the CAF representation in the IPO. The seeding for this play-off is unknown yet. It could be a completely free draw, or seeding according to the prevailing FIFA ranking or to the ranking of the 4 participants based on group results and then 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3.

This play-off will be played anyway in November 2025.


Here are the probabilities (in %) -generated over 10.000 simulations- with all match-results based on NT prediction formula's for goals scored in a match depending on elo win expectancy.


The group results with teams ordered by average group position, indicated in the last avg column:


group A

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

avg

Egypt

67,16

23,31

7,10

1,95

0,48

0,00

1,45

Burkina Faso

25,29

45,88

18,16

8,01

2,62

0,04

2,17

Guinea-Bissau

4,54

16,22

33,84

27,03

17,60

0,77

3,39

Sierra Leone

1,59

7,37

21,23

31,63

36,36

1,82

3,99

Ethiopia

1,42

7,22

19,60

30,86

38,38

2,52

4,05

Djibouti

0,00

0,00

0,07

0,52

4,56

94,85

5,94

group B

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

avg

Senegal

85,61

11,76

2,13

0,41

0,09

0,00

1,18

Congo DR

10,08

49,97

23,97

10,77

4,49

0,72

2,52

Mauritania

2,60

19,35

31,48

26,34

15,56

4,67

3,47

Togo

1,25

12,59

24,79

30,60

23,22

7,55

3,85

Sudan

0,45

5,82

15,25

25,13

36,27

17,08

4,42

South Sudan

0,01

0,51

2,38

6,75

20,37

69,98

5,57

group C

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

avg

Nigeria

61,67

25,27

8,72

3,25

0,89

0,20

1,57

South Africa

26,88

39,42

19,89

8,77

3,82

1,22

2,27

Benin

7,06

18,41

29,77

23,13

14,37

7,26

3,41

Zimbabwe

2,91

9,42

20,90

27,16

23,40

16,21

4,07

Rwanda

0,92

4,64

12,32

20,40

29,45

32,27

4,70

Lesotho

0,56

2,84

8,40

17,29

28,07

42,84

4,98

group D

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

avg

Cameroon

62,72

25,05

8,78

2,69

0,73

0,03

1,54

Cape Verde Islands

24,85

38,95

21,80

10,17

4,11

0,12

2,30

Angola

7,50

19,10

32,40

25,18

14,62

1,20

3,24

Libya

3,22

10,63

22,10

32,38

28,54

3,13

3,82

Eswatini

1,71

6,23

14,74

27,78

42,52

7,02

4,24

Mauritius

0,00

0,04

0,18

1,80

9,48

88,50

5,86

group E

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

avg

Morocco

93,89

5,79

0,30

0,02

0,00

0,00

1,06

Zambia

5,60

68,47

17,10

6,06

2,20

0,57

2,33

Tanzania

0,33

12,94

34,85

26,25

17,12

8,51

3,72

Congo

0,06

6,68

23,92

27,40

25,12

16,82

4,21

Niger

0,11

4,74

17,14

24,81

28,58

24,62

4,51

Eritrea

0,01

1,38

6,69

15,46

26,98

49,48

5,16

group F

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

avg

Cote d'Ivoire

67,46

20,03

8,51

3,20

0,80

0,00

1,50

Gambia

14,39

30,19

27,33

18,18

9,78

0,13

2,79

Gabon

11,53

29,05

27,51

19,95

11,74

0,22

2,92

Kenya

4,72

13,84

21,96

31,34

27,21

0,93

3,65

Burundi

1,90

6,89

14,66

27,02

46,93

2,60

4,18

Seychelles

0,00

0,00

0,03

0,31

3,54

96,12

5,96

group G

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

avg

Algeria

84,05

11,95

2,91

0,89

0,20

0,00

1,21

Guinea

6,35

31,59

26,67

20,35

14,64

0,40

3,07

Uganda

4,31

22,67

25,66

25,02

21,43

0,91

3,39

Botswana

3,15

19,17

24,06

25,67

26,80

1,15

3,57

Mozambique

2,14

14,59

20,66

27,69

33,38

1,54

3,80

Somalia

0,00

0,03

0,04

0,38

3,55

96,00

5,95

group H

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

avg

Tunisia

82,75

13,75

2,70

0,65

0,14

0,01

1,22

Equatorial Guinea

11,90

46,23

23,20

12,42

5,58

0,67

2,56

Namibia

2,81

17,66

29,02

26,36

19,29

4,86

3,56

Malawi

1,29

11,93

23,08

28,69

27,48

7,53

3,92

Liberia

1,23

10,15

20,66

27,08

31,58

9,30

4,06

Sao Tomé e Príncipe

0,02

0,28

1,34

4,80

15,93

77,63

5,69

group I

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

avg

Mali

54,07

35,66

7,72

1,95

0,50

0,10

1,59

Ghana

41,28

44,03

10,67

3,03

0,79

0,20

1,79

Central African Republic

2,68

10,21

33,91

25,56

17,65

9,99

3,75

Madagascar

1,00

4,70

21,25

26,91

25,65

20,49

4,33

Comoros

0,66

3,72

16,00

23,80

27,67

28,15

4,59

Chad

0,31

1,68

10,45

18,75

27,74

41,07

4,95



For 4 groups the top seed is also the clear cut favorite. However, in groups A, C, D and F the second seed could spring a surprise if the top seed is not well prepared from the start of the group matches in November this year. In group I both top seeds, Mali and Ghana, seem of almost equal strength and the heaviest fight for the top spot can be expected.


The probabilities to qualify for the play-offs as one of the 4 best group runners-up, with in square brackets the probability to qualify for the play-off, given that the team is a group runner-up:


Zambia

33,67

[49,17]

Burkina Faso

27,48

[59,90]

Ghana

24,74

[56,19]

Congo DR

21,89

[43,81]

Cape Verde Islands

20,56

[52,79]

Mali

20,48

[57,43]

Equatorial Guinea

20,33

[43,98]

Egypt

16,41

[70,40]

Cameroon

15,53

[62,00]

South Africa

15,42

[39,12]

Gambia

14,68

[48,63]

Gabon

13,72

[47,23]

Guinea

12,98

[41,09]

Cote d'Ivoire

12,25

[61,16]

Nigeria

11,53

[45,63]

Tunisia

8,58

[62,40]

Uganda

8,57

[37,80]

Angola

8,04

[42,09]

Senegal

7,89

[67,09]

Algeria

7,68

[64,27]

Guinea-Bissau

7,21

[44,45]

Botswana

6,17

[32,19]

Mauritania

5,96

[30,80]

Namibia

5,28

[29,90]

Morocco

5,17

[89,29]

Benin

4,85

[26,34]

Kenya

4,81

[34,75]

Mozambique

4,36

[29,88]

Libya

3,58

[33,68]

Malawi

3,10

[25,98]

Central African Republic

3,04

[29,77]

Tanzania

2,92

[22,57]

Togo

2,83

[22,48]

Ethiopia

2,53

[35,04]

Sierra Leone

2,31

[31,34]

Liberia

2,27

[22,36]

Burundi

1,83

[26,56]

Zimbabwe

1,79

[19,00]

Eswatini

1,60

[25,68]

Congo

1,22

[18,26]

Madagascar

1,11

[23,62]

Sudan

1,04

[17,87]

Comoros

0,77

[20,70]

Niger

0,66

[13,92]

Rwanda

0,54

[11,64]

Lesotho

0,27

[9,51]

Chad

0,21

[12,50]

Eritrea

0,09

[6,52]

South Sudan

0,04

[7,84]

Sao Tomé e Príncipe

0,01

[3,57]

Djibouti

0,00

[0,00]

Mauritius

0,00

[0,00]

Seychelles

0,00

[0,00]

Somalia

0,00

[0,00]



About me:

Software engineer, happily unmarried and non-religious. You won't find me on Twitter or other so called social media. Dutchman, joined the blog in March 2018.

5 comments:

  1. REGULATIONS on the Status and Transfer of Players
    MARCH 2023

    https://digitalhub.fifa.com/m/153157b40ca1dfd/original/Regulations-on-the-Status-and-Transfer-of-Players-March-2023-edition.pdf

    ANNEXE
    Release of players to association teams
    1. Principles for men’s football


    4. An international window is defined as a period of nine days starting on a Monday morning and ending on Tuesday night the following week (subject to the temporary exceptions below), which is reserved for representative teams’ activities.
    During any international window a maximum of two matches may be played by each representative team (subject to the temporary exceptions below), irrespective of whether these matches are qualifying matches for an international tournament or friendlies. The pertinent matches can be scheduled any day as from Wednesday during the international window, provided that a minimum of two full calendar days are left between two matches (e.g. Thursday/Sunday or Saturday/Tuesday).


    5. Representative teams shall play the two matches (subject to the temporary exceptions set out in paragraph 4 of this article) within an international window on the territory of the same confederation, with the only exception of intercontinental play-off matches. If at least one of the two matches is a friendly, they can be played in two different confederations only if the distance between the venues does not exceed a total of five flight hours, according to the official schedule of the airline, and two time zones.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Commentary on the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players
    Edition 2021

    https://digitalhub.fifa.com/m/346c4da8d810fbea/original/Commentary-on-the-FIFA-Regulations-on-the-Status-and-Transfer-of-Players-Edition-2021.pdf

    i. International window

    Without prejudice to any temporary amendments to the IMC that the FIFA Council may approve, the first match played in an international window may not be scheduled before the Wednesday of the window concerned. This is to allow representative teams to prepare properly ahead of the match.
    To protect players’ health, reduce the risk of injuries, and allow them sufficient time to recover and regenerate between matches, factoring in their return to their club to participate in club competition matches, a specific representative team may play a maximum of two matches during an international window. The nature of the matches concerned (i.e. whether a non-official match or official match) is irrelevant. A rest period of at least two full calendar days must be observed between the two matches scheduled for the specific representative team. By analogy, a player may also only play a maximum of two matches during an international window, and is subject to the same rest period.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This still doesn't explain anything about why the final and 3rd place play-off of the Central Asian Nations Cup on June 20th (the last Tuesday of the June match window) were excluded from the ranking calculation.

      Delete
  3. Hello. Russia vs Egypt, September 7 and 11, will these matches count for FIFA Rankings?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Russia played against Egypt U-23 yesterday (1:1 in Suez), so that match will be excluded anyway.
    On the 12th a friendly against Qatar is scheduled in Al Wakrah. It seems that one will be included.

    ReplyDelete