FIFA moves Super Eagles’ World Cup qualifiers


The world football governing body, FIFA, has ruled that the Super Eagles will no longer begin their Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying series as earlier scheduled in June.

FIFA in a statement said it had been made to push forward Africa’s Qatar 2022 matches due to the effect of the coronavirus on the continent.

Nigeria is in the same preliminary group with Liberia, Cape Verde and Central African Republic.

The statement reads: “FIFA can confirm that in conjunction with CAF and taking into consideration the current disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to ensure optimal playing conditions for all teams, it has been decided to postpone the African qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 that were due to be played in June 2021.

“The qualifiers are now scheduled to take place in the existing windows of September, October and November 2021, and March 2022.”Qatar will host the quadrennial tournament from November 25 to December 18, 2022.

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Coach Gernot Rohr had earlier planned to open a training camp later this month ahead of the campaign for Super Eagles’ matchdays 1 and 2 originally billed to hold between May 31 and June 15.

Although the matchdays have changed, the fixtures will still be followed as earlier planned with Nigeria playing at home against Liberia before travelling to meet CAR for the second game.

The next qualifiers, which will be on home-and-away basis, will see the Eagles square up twice against Cape Verde on matchdays 3 and 4, first at home and later away.

Group winners will qualify for the final round of qualifications where the 10 best group teams will be paired in twos and they will play another home and away matches. The winners of this last stage will qualify to fly the continent’s flag in Qatar.