Eritrea, which is actively participating in the qualifiers for the FIFA 2026 World Cup, has announced that it will not take part in the qualifying phase of the competition, as confirmed by the country’s football federation.

Eritrea will not be part of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in the African region, which are scheduled to commence in a few days. Placed in Group E alongside Morocco, Zambia, Tanzania, Niger, and Congo, the Red Sea Camels have chosen not to participate in these qualifying rounds on the continent.

The specific reasons for this withdrawal have not been disclosed. However, it’s worth noting that Eritrea, located in East Africa, has not played an official match since their defeat against Namibia (0-2) during the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup on September 10, 2019. Additionally, Eritrea did not participate in the qualifiers for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

As a result of the Red Sea Camels’ withdrawal, Group E has been left with Morocco as the sole favorite. As a reminder, there are nine groups, each containing six teams, competing in these qualifying phases in Africa. The winners of each group will automatically secure qualification for the FIFA 2026 World Cup.

The top four second-placed teams will engage in a continental playoff to determine an overall winner. This victorious team will then enter a second and final playoff, where six teams from other confederations will also participate. The top two teams from this pool of six will qualify for the FIFA World Cup, completing the 48-team lineup.