Mali get Qatar WC qualification boost

World News

Mali have been handed a big boost in their quest to secure qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The World Cup qualifying play-offs are set take place next month, when the remaining 10 African sides will compete for the five available spots in this year's showpiece in the Middle East.

Scroll through the gallery below to see the 10 countries that will compete in the play-offs.

Mali will take on Tunisia in their two-legged qualifier on 25 and 29 March, and their home tie was initially set to be hosted outside of the country after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) ruled their stadiums unfit to host international matches last year.

The West Africans played all their "home" group-stage qualifiers in Morocco as a result, while their main stadium in Bamako underwent renovations to meet the regulations imposed by CAF. 

Despite that inconvenience, Mali still managed to qualify for the play-offs after finishing top of their group.

FIFA has now ruled that the 48th-ranked side in the world will be allowed to host the first leg of their play-off tie against the Tunisians at home in Bamako after the renovations were successfully completed, per The Star.

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The world football governing body also announced that 2021 Africa Cup of Nations champions Senegal will be allowed to use their newly opened Diamniadio Olympic Stadium in Dakar for their play-off against Egypt.

The venue was inaugurated on Tuesday in a ceremony led by the nation's president Macky Sall, and will now stage the return leg of their tie against the Pharaohs on 29 March.

Here are some of the best images from the inauguration of Senegal's new stadium!

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