FIFA retains Nigeria in Pot 2, as Russia 2018 world cup draw holds
The draw ceremony for Africa’s final round of qualifiers for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup competition will hold today at CAF Headquarters, 6th October City, Egypt, with Nigeria remaining in Pot 2 of the seedings.
Following the decision of the FIFA Emergency Bureau for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday evening, which stated that “protests from several associations” had necessitated a review of the entire situation related to the seeding, the ranking announced by FIFA on June 7 2016 will be adhered to.
This means that the pots remain:
Pot 1: Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and Tunisia.
Pot 2: Cape Verde, Egypt, DR Congo, Nigeria and Mali.
Pot 3: Cameroun, Morocco, Guinea, South Africa and Guinea.
Pot 4: Uganda, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Gabon and Libya.
After Egypt protested its placement in Pot 2, Nigeria also fired a protest, stating categorically that she deserved to be in Pot 1 ahead of Egypt and Tunisia.
In the FIFA letter of Wednesday, June 22, signed by Deputy General Secretary Marco Villiger, the FIFA Emergency Bureau stated:“The FIFA letter dated 5th April 2016 did not specify that the ranking would be calculated on 8th, 9th, or 10th June 2016 but that it would be released around those dates. The special ranking that was released on 8th June 2016, with the date 7th June 2016, fully served its essential and unique purpose of integrating all the official CAF AFCON qualifying matches that were played up to 5th June 2016 ahead of the draw.
“This ranking – 7th June 2016 – remains thus valid for the third qualifying round draw. Therefore, the FIFA letter dated 15th June 2016 suggesting a ranking on 21st June 2016 shall be deemed null and void. Please take note that this decision is final and binding and not subject to appeal, as per article 3, paragraph 4 of the Regulations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.”With the clarification, the Super Eagles will be drawn to play against any of the teams in Pot 1 or pot 3.