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CONCACAF - (North, Central American and Caribbean)
Covers a wide geographic range, from the Panama canal to the Arctic wastes of Canada, through the island states of the Caribbean. Three countries qualify, with the USA leading the qualifying group.

There are 35 CONCACAF members of which all made themselves eligible to compete in the qualifying competition but just three will reach the World Cup.

The preliminary phase is divided into two zones - Central America and Caribbean. In the Central America Zone, six teams are drawn into two groups of three. They will play a round robin system, home and away with the winner advancing to the semi-final stage and the loser playing the Third Round loser from the Caribbean Zone. The winner of the interzone play-off will qualify for the semi-final.

In the Caribbean Zone, which includes Canada, Bahamas and Bermuda, 24 teams have been drawn into three groups of four. The knock-out system is in place for this zone with the eventual winner advancing to the semi-final. The losers will compete in a play-off with Canada and the two Central America Zone winners. The winners enter the semi-finals.

The four teams that have qualified for at least one of the past three World Cups - Mexico, USA, Jamaica and Costa Rica - all have a bye to the semi-final. Canada, who qualified for the 1986 World Cup, has a bye to the third round play-off of the Caribbean Zone.

In the semi-finals, 12 teams are drawn into three groups of four. They will play a round robin, home and away, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the final. The six teams in the final will all play each other, home and away. The top three teams will qualify for the 2002 World Cup finals....not complicated at all!

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