World Cup Qualifying Draw For Africa On Friday
Friday will see the World Cup qualifying draw for the 20 African teams who still have a chance to qualify for the tournament that is set to be held in Russia during 2018.
This will be the third round of qualifying from Africa, with 54 teams on the continent originally attempting to book a place amongst the sport’s elite. Only 20 African countries remain.
The draw for the African zone qualifiers will take place in Cairo, Egypt on 24 June, and with only five teams eventually making their way to the World Cup in two year’s time, the stakes are high.
So five groups will be decided, with four teams in each of the groups. The winners of these groups will then automatically qualify to represent Africa at the showpiece event.
The seeded teams and the four pots for the draw were defined via a special edition of the FIFA Ranking for African teams on June 7, as per the decision of the Emergency Bureau for the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers of June 22, 2016.
Algeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and Tunisia are the top seeds as the highest ranked teams according to FIFA’s monthly updated list.
Pot 2 consists of Cape Verde, Egypt, DR Congo, Nigeria and Mali, while Cameroon, Morocco, Guinea, South Africa and Congo Brazzaville are seeded in pot 3.
The final pot includes Uganda, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Gabon and Libya. Only Gabon and Libya are out of the top 20 ranked African teams on the FIFA ranking amongst the 20 teams left with a chance of qualifying.
World Cup Qualifying Draw Procedure
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 its position in the group will also be determined by a ball drawn from the second pot.
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. This 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.
After the draw on June 24, qualification matches for the five groups will begin in October, before continuing next year and concluding in November.
African Seeds According To FIFA
Pot 1: Algeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Tunisia
Pot 2: Cape Verde, Egypt, DR Congo, Nigeria, Mali
Pot 3: Cameroon, Morocco, Guinea, South Africa, Congo Brazzaville
Pot 4: Uganda, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Gabon, Libya