Concacaf’s 2022 World Cup qualifying format will change: Victor Montagliani on OneSoccer

What didn’t Concacaf president Victor Montagliani cover on OneSoccer’s Inside the Game on Tuesday?

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say the ex-Canada Soccer head spoke with host Gareth Wheeler about everything facing North American soccer in 2020, including adjustments to 2022 World Cup qualifying, Canada Soccer’s transformation during the mid-2000s, Canadian 2026 World Cup host cities, and the Canadian Premier League’s impact on domestic soccer.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway came regarding upcoming qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. Montagliani nixed “the Hex” in its current form “on the balance of probabilities,” saying qualifying will change due to delays from COVID-19.

“The current World Cup will have to be changed, which means the Hex will have to take another form… obviously larger,” Montagliani offered. “Whatever the format is, it needs to hold sporting integrity.

“We’re going to use FIFA rankings to start with… You’ll have to do an elimination of some sort.”

This could alter Canada’s road to the 2022 World Cup after they finished outside of the top six and were set to play in a secondary knockout tournament.

RELATED READING: Concacaf World Cup qualifying: Potential condensed formats to consider

Wheeler also asked the former Canada Soccer president’s career thus far, with Montagliani offering his three biggest goals – Women’s World Cup, a bid for the men’s World Cup, and the Canadian Premier League – all came to fruition.

“We wanted to do the Women’s World Cup, a bid for the men’s World Cup, and create our own domestic league. In the men’s World Cup and league, there were a lot of naysayers – even around the boardroom,” Montagliani recounted to OneSoccer, adding the CPL’s first year “blew him away” as Concacaf head.

“I knew it would resonate with fans, but it was the level of play… It was a pleasant surprise.”

As for the 2026 World Cup, which Canada will jointly host with Mexico and the US, Montagliani said Canada “will likely” receive an automatic berth, though that is unconfirmed.

Montagliani also offered the Concacaf Champions League would be expanded. CPL was not mentioned, though MLS and Liga MX would be offered “more spots,” according to Montagliani.

To watch Tuesday’s OneSoccer Inside the Game interview with Montagliani in full, click here.

Subscribe to OneSoccer’s YouTube channel for more.