Nigeria’s Super Eagles will have their work cut out when they take on the pitch to fight for the sole ticket to the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The three-time African champions will have to navigate tricky clashes with tough rivals, South Africa, Benin Republic, now coached by Gernot Rohr, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Rwanda in Group C.
The teams were paired during the preliminary draws held organized by Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Super Eagles, who missed out on the Qatar World Cup will begin the hunt for world cup glory in games that will take place over ten watch-ways during the next two years.
According to FIFA, the 54 CAF nations were seeded in six pots and then drawn into nine groups, each comprising six teams.
The nine groups will play in a home and away, round-robin, format with each of the group winners qualifying automatically for the FIFA World Cup.
The four best group runners-up will then compete in a play-off stage to determine CAF’s representative at the FIFA play-off tournament.
The FIFA play-off tournament will feature one team from each of FIFA’s six confederations, except UEFA, plus one additional team from the host confederation (Concacaf).
Two of the six teams will be seeded based on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. The seeded teams will play for a FIFA World Cup berth against the winners of the first two knockout games involving the four unseeded teams.
The qualifiers, including the playoffs will start from November 3, 2023 till November 18, 2025.
It will be recalled that Africa got nine automatic places when the World Cup was expanded to 48 teams in 2026.
The World Cup will be hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada from, 11 June 2026 to 19 July 2026.