Ghana have been handed a favourable draw in their quest to qualify for the 2026 World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
The draw took place after the 45th Ordinary CAF General Assembly in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, with the qualifiers scheduled to begin in November 2023.
Ghana will play Mali. The Black Stars were drawn in Pot 2, which meant they could have faced stronger opponents such as Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, or Nigeria; however, they were drawn against Mali, a team attempting to qualify for their first-ever World Cup.
Madagascar, the Central African Republic, the Comoros, and Chad are also included in the group. Ghana are familiar with Madagascar and the Central African Republic, having played them in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Black Stars will also be seeking revenge against Comoros, who defeated them 3-2 in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon last year.
Ghana has a strong World Cup pedigree, having qualified for four of the last five tournaments. However, their performance in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was disappointing as they failed to advance past the group stage, losing to Portugal and Uruguay while defeating South Korea.
Black Stars will be determined to secure qualification for the 2026 tournament and aim to impress Ghanaians as they did in 2010 when they reached the quarter-finals in South Africa.
Six teams were divided into nine groups. The winners of each group will secure automatic qualification for the World Cup 2026.
The four best runners-up from the groups will participate in a CAF Play-Off tournament, with the winner advancing to the FIFA Play-Off tournament.