CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers to begin in March 2020

The South American zone qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup will begin in March next year, the region's football governing body CONMEBOL said.

As with previous CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers, each of the confederation's 10 teams will play each other on a home and away basis, the Asuncion-based body said on Thursday after a meeting of its executive committee here, reports Xinhua news agency.

The tournament will end in November 2021, with an intercontinental playoff to be held the following March, eight months before the World Cup is scheduled to begin in Qatar. A draw to determine the order of the qualifiers will be held later this year.

World football governing body FIFA has yet to decide whether the 2022 World Cup will feature 32 or 48 countries. A 32-team competition would provide CONMEBOL with four places in football's showpiece tournament plus a playoff spot, maintaining the status quo.

An expanded event would hand CONMEBOL six automatic World Cup slots and a playoff berth.

Pic Courtsey: IANS