The dismal performance of the Super Eagles in recent times has affected the country’s rankings as Nigeria may face tough African oppositions in the race for the 2018 World Cup billed for Russia.
The Eagles, who lost the 2017 AFCON slot to Egypt, dropped five spots in the latest FIFA rankings released on Thursday as the three-time African champions are now ranked 67th in the world and 14th on the continent.
The draw for the third round will be held on June 24 2016 at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt with the qualified teams being ordered based on the FIFA World Rankings before the June draws. CAF is expected to announce other seeding criteria in due course.
By this implication, Nigeria will face any of Algeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal or Egypt in Pot 1 and any of Cape Verde, Tunisia, DR Congo, Guinea, Congo in Pot 2 thereby making the World Cup qualification race a tough hurdle.
A total of 20 teams which advanced from the second round will be drawn into five groups of four teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The winners of each group will qualify for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The third round of CAF matches for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification will be played from October 3 2016 to November 14 2017.
Meanwhile, Algeria after moving up four steps place 33th in the world to lead the continent while African champions, Ivory Coast, maintain its second spot ahead of Ghana, Senegal and Egypt, which climbed nine positions to 34.
Argentina jumped to the number one spot in the world after former leaders, Belgium, dropped to the second position. The next FIFA ranking is expected to come out on May 5.
Africa’s top 15:
1st Algeria (33) 2nd Ivory Coast (34) 3rd Ghana (38) 4th Senegal (43) 5th Egypt (44) 6th Cape Verde (47) 7th Tunisia (47) 8th DR Congo (51) 9th Guinea (58) 10th Congo (59), 11th Cameroon (63) 12th Morocco (64) 13th Mali (65) 14th Nigeria (67) 15th South Africa (70)
World Top 10:
1. Argentina 2. Belgium 3. Chile 4. Colombia 5. Germany 6. Spain 7. Brazil 8. Portugal 9. Uruguay 10. England
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