The Super Eagles have been handed a rather easy draw for the 2026 World Cup African qualifiers, The PUNCH reports.
The draw ceremony for the 2026 World Cup African qualifiers was conducted on Thursday in Abidjan, Ivory Coast after the Confederation of African Football’s Ordinary General Assembly.
As reported by The PUNCH on Thursday, the three-time African champions could face South Africa, the Eagles were drawn in Group C alongside South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, Benin Republic, led by former Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, Rwanda, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
Group A features Egypt alongside Ethiopia, Djibouti, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau and Burkina Faso.
Senegal, who were beaten by England in the Round of 16 in Qatar, are in Group B and would tackle DR Congo, Mauritania, Togo, Sudan and South Sudan.
Cameroon is in Group D with Eswatini, Libya, Angola, Cape Verde and Mauritius.
Qatar 2022 World Cup semi-finalists Morocco will face Zambia, Congo, Tanzania, Niger and Eritrea after being drawn in Group E.
In Group F, Gambia, Kenya, Burundi, Seychelles, Gabon and Ivory Coast will battle for top spot, just as Mozambique, Somalia, Uganda, Botswana, Guinea and Algeria will compete for qualification in Group G.
Group H features Namibia, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe, Malawi, Equatorial Guinea, and Tunisia. In Group I, Chad, Madagascar, Comoros, Central African Republic, Ghana and Mali were pitted together.
There are six teams in each of the nine groups, with only the group winners’ guaranteed slots at the expanded World Cup finals in the summer of 2026.
Each of the teams will play two of their 10 matches in the campaign in the FIFA window of November this year, with the other eight games to be spread between 2024 and 2025.
The best four second-placed teams in the nine groups will then contest a mini-tournament, with the winners eligible for a playoff spot for another slot at the 2026 World Cup to be co-hosted by USA, Mexico and Canada.
Nigeria, who missed the last edition of the World Cup, have reached the Round of 16 of the competition on three occasions.
SOURCE: PUNCH NEWSPAPER