Nigeria, who have reached the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup finals on three occasions, must overcome the challenge of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Benin Republic, Lesotho and Rwanda to reach the next finals to be staged in the USA, Mexico and Canada.
At the draw ceremony conducted on Thursday in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire within the belt of the CAF Ordinary General Assembly, the Super Eagles top Group B which also has Zimbabwe’s Warriors, South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, Rwanda’s Amavubi, Benin Republic’s Cheetahs and Lesotho’s Crocodiles.
There are six teams in each of the nine groups, with only the group winners guaranteed slots at the expanded FIFA World Cup finals in the summer of 2026.
The best four second-placed teams in the nine groups will then contest a mini-tournament, with the winner eligible for a playoff spot for another slot in USA/Canada/Mexico finals.
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.
GROUP A: Egypt, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Djibouti
GROUP B: Senegal, DR Congo, Mauritania, Togo, Sudan, South Sudan
GROUP C: Nigeria, South Africa, Benin Republic, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Lesotho
GROUP D: Cameroon, Cape Verde, Angola, Libya, eSwatini, Mauritius
GROUP E: Morocco, Zambia, Congo, Tanzania, Niger Republic, Eritrea
GROUP F: Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Kenya, The Gambia, Burundi, Seychelles
GROUP G: Algeria, Guinea, Uganda, Mozambique, Botswana, Somalia
GROUP H: Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Malawi, Liberia, Sao Tome & Principe
GROUP I: Mali, Ghana, Madagascar, Central African Republic, Comoros, Chad