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Sports News of Sunday, 9 January 2022


FIFA World Cup Playoff: Eagles to know opponent January 22

The photo used to illustrate the story The photo used to illustrate the story

Nigeria’s national football team, the Super Eagles, are set to know the team standing in their way as they look to qualify for the FIFA 2022 World Cup to be staged in Qatar.

Nigeria and nine other African countries are in the race for the continent’s five slots at this year’s Mundial.

On Saturday, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced the dates for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and also the 2023 AFCON qualifiers draw.

Cote d’Ivoire is set to host the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), for the second time in the country’s history and the first time since 1984.

CAF announced on Saturday the draw for the tournament’s qualifiers will be held during the Africa Cup of Nations, January 21 in Douala, Cameroon.

The preliminary round of the qualifiers will be played by a knock-out system and will include the lower-ranked teams in accordance with the FIFA rankings.

The teams qualified from this round will then reach the group stage composed of 48 teams.

As for the draw for the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup, it will be conducted the following day, January 22, 2022, in Douala, Cameroon.

The 10 qualified teams will be divided into two levels based on the official FIFA ranking, published in November 2021.

The five highest-ranked teams will play against the five least ranked teams (the first leg will be played at the home of the lower-ranked teams).

Nigeria made it to the playoff stage having finished top of their group ahead of Cape Verde, the Central African Republic and Lesotho.

Having made her debut at the USA 1994 World Cup, the Super Eagles have qualified for all but one of the subsequent editions.

If the three-time African champions make it to Qatar, it would be their seventh appearance at the global football showpiece.

According to the ranking published on November 19, 2021, after the last round, the distribution of the teams on the two pots for the playoffs shall be as follows:

Level 1: Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Nigeria

Level 2: Egypt, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali and DR Congo