The North, Central American and Caribbean section of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification acts as qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, to be held in Qatar, for national teams which are members of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). Three direct slots and one inter-confederation play-off slot in the final tournament are available for CONCACAF teams.
On 10 July 2019, CONCACAF announced a restructured qualifying format for the World Cup. After CONCACAF initially announced in March 2018 that they would use the CONCACAF Ranking Index to determine the seeding of CONCACAF teams for qualifying to international tournaments, it was determined that FIFA Rankings would be used instead.
- Top-seeded Hexagonal group: The top 6 ranked CONCACAF teams based on the FIFA rankings of June 2020 were to play home-and-away round-robin matches in one single group (often referred to as the “Hexagonal“). The top three teams would have qualified for the World Cup, and the fourth-placed team would have advanced to the CONCACAF play-off round.
- Lower-seeded group stage and knockout stage: The remaining CONCACAF teams (ranked 7 to 35 based on the FIFA rankings of June 2020) were to be divided into eight groups (five groups of four teams and three groups of three teams) to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The winners of each group would have advanced to a knockout stage, consisting of the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final to be played in a two-legged home-and-away series. The winner of the knockout stage would have also advanced to the CONCACAF play-off round.
- Play-off round: The fourth-placed team of the Hexagonal group would have faced the winner of the knockout stage in order to advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.
However, on 25 June 2020, following FIFA’s decision to postpone the September 2020 international window because of the COVID-19 pandemic, CONCACAF noted that “the challenges presented by postponements to the football calendar, and the incomplete FIFA rankings cycle in our confederation, means our current World Cup qualifying process has been compromised and will be changed.”