-Stephen Keshi Honoured
By Izuchukwu Okosi
Nigeria’s Super Eagles have been drawn in a potentially difficult group in the African Russia 2018 World Cup last qualifying stages as they have been pooled alongside rivals Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia in Group B.
Only one of the teams will qualify for the World Cup after facing each other twice home and away.
The draw, held in Cairo on Friday, had 20 teams from four pots placed in five groups of four teams each.
The five group winners will qualify for the World Cup.
Nigeria currently ranked 61 by FIFA in the world and 12th in Africa, were in Pot 2 and drew Algeria from the top pot (A), Cameroon from Pot 3 and Zambia from Pot 4.
In the other African Russia 2018 qualifying groups, Tunisia, Libya, DR Congo and Guinea face off in Group A; while Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, Mali and Gabon are in Group C.
Senegal head Group D, with South Africa, Burkina Faso and Vape Verde as the other teams.
Ghana are the top team in Group E, competing with Egypt, Congo and Uganda. The qualifiers start in October.
The event was moderated by a FIFA representative who welcomed everyone to the “cradle of civilization”. He was assisted by current and former players.
Before the draws began, a video tribute to the late Stephen Keshi was showed and a one-minute standing silence was also observed in memory of the great player and manager.
Procedure for the draw
The teams in Pot 4 will be drawn first. The team drawn first from Pot 4 will be placed in Group A, and its exact
position in the group will be determined by a ball drawn from a second pot that will contain four balls with the
position numbers 1-4.
The team drawn second from Pot 4 will be placed in Group B, and a ball drawn from the second pot will also determine its
position in the group. The team drawn third will be placed in Group C, and its position drawn from the second pot.
The team drawn fourth will be placed in Group D, and its position drawn from the second pot. Finally, the team in the
last ball in Pot 4 will be placed in Group E, and its position will again be drawn from the second pot.
The same procedure will then be applied for Pot 3, then for Pot 2, and finally for Pot 1. When the last ball containing
the name of the final team in Pot 1 has been drawn and its position in Group E has been confirmed by drawing the last
remaining ball in the second pot, the draw will be concluded.
Pot 1: Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Tunisia
Pot 2: Cape Verde Islands, Egypt, DR Congo, Nigeria, Mali
Pot 3: Cameroon, Morocco, Guinea, South Africa, Guinea
Pot 4: Uganda, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Gabon, Libya
Arsenal’s Mohammed El Neny helped in the Pot 4 draws, which came first and Libya came out as the first nation.