13th July, 2023
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Nigeria’s Super Eagles have drawn perennial foe South Africa, Benin Republic, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Lesotho in the qualifier for the 2026 World Cup.
The draw was held in Cote D’Ivoire on Thursday by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The Super Eagles will play in Group C and will meet a stiffer opposition from South Africa and Benin Republic.
Only one nation will qualify from the group.
Africa has been handed 9 automatic slots for the tournament. CAF group the participating nation in nine groups with the winner of each group going to the world cup.
Four best runners-up will from the Groups will play in a CAF Play-Off tournament. The winner of the CAF Play-Off Tournament will play in the FIFA Play-off Tournament to potentially be the 10th African nation.
The official Draw comes just hours after the 45th CAF General Assembly which was also attended by CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe and FIFA President, Gianni Infantino in Abidjan.
African football legends Emmanuel Eboue, Asamoah Gyan, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, Emmanuel Adebayor, Wael Gomaa and Alexandre Song assisted in the draw.
A total of 54 African nations will compete for the available 9.5 allocated spots for Africa, with the qualifiers officially starting in November.
As in previous qualifiers, the draw produced some interesting outcomes for the nations, who were split into nine groups of six as the journey to Canada, Mexico and USA gets underway in the next few months.
See the groups below: