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Is Nigeria Qualified for the 2022 World Cup?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is around the corner. The tournament begins on the 21st November 2022 to 18th December 2022. At the moment, footballing countries all over the world are trying to qualify and get a chance to play in the tournament. 

In Africa, it’s not different as CAF teams are in action to ensure they qualify. Nigerian football fans want to see the Super Eagles play in the World Cup as they’ve done in the past 2 versions of the tournament. However, the question is have they qualified yet? Which teams have qualified? We’ll be looking at all of that in this article. 

Has Nigeria Qualified? 

Nigeria is yet to qualify for the World Cup. In fact, No African country has booked a spot at the Qatar 2022 FIFA Competition yet. At the recently concluded World Cup Qualifiers, the Super Eagles recorded wins against Liberia twice, Cape Verde, and Central African Republic. However, they lost to Central African Republic at home. 

Despite topping their group, Nigeria will have to secure their spot in Qatar 2022 from playoffs. Already the Super Eagles have qualified for the AFCON and will play Egypt, Sudan, and Guinea-Bissau. Their opponents for the playoffs are not very different. 

Aside from Nigeria, other top countries in the upcoming playoffs include Cameroon, Algeria, who won the last AFCON, and Morocco. DR Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, and Tunisia also qualified. In total, there are 10 qualified teams out of which 5 will qualify for the World Cup tournament. 

Will Nigeria Qualify? 

Nigeria has strong chances of qualifying for the World Cup. Many football fans blamed the recent poor performance of the team on tactics which led rumors about the sacking of Gernoth Rohr. Another worry fans have is that star player Osimhen is out after suffering facial injuries in Napoli’s league game against Inter Milan. 

Nevertheless, there’s Odion Ighalo and many other talented players in Nigeria’s arsenal. Nigeria could face any of the other nine teams. A draw will be held to determine who plays who. 

Who Will Nigeria Play In Playoffs?

Following predictions, Nigeria along with Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Senegal are the 5 African teams that could make it to Qatar. However, Tunisia, and Cameroon also have strong odds. The three-time African champions would avoid a matchup with any of the top four African nations. 

This means they will not face either the champions Algeria or the runners-up Senegal. There will be no meeting between Nigeria and Tunisia, nor with Morocco. The ten countries that won their respective groups in the second round of qualifiers will play each other to determine the five continental representatives. 

Algeria, Senegal, Morocco, Nigeria, and Tunisia are seeded before the draw, while Egypt, Mali, Ghana, DR Congo, and Cameroon are unseeded. The seeded teams cannot face each other in the play-off draw, but can face any unseeded team. Winners of the seeded teams against unseeded teams will qualify for the 2022 World Cup. 

The draw will take place on December 18 and the matches in March 2022. Nigeria has appeared in every World Cup final since 1994, except for the 2006 final in Germany, where they narrowly lost to Angola due to a head-to-head rule.

How Many Teams Can Qualify For The 2022 World Cup 

The men’s World Cup in Qatar in 2022 will include 32 teams before expanding to 48 teams for the 2026 edition. Since France 1998, the FIFA men’s World Cup has included 32 teams in each of the last six tournaments. 

Thirty-one countries will compete in regional qualifying matches to gain the chance to play with host Qatar. The number of nations that will qualify from each area has been set in advance: 

  • Africa (CAF): 5 spots 
  • Asia (AFC): 4 spots, 1 playoff qualifier. 
  • Europe (UEFA): 13 sports
  • North/Central America & Caribbean (CONCACAF): 3 spots, 1 playoff qualifier
  • Oceania (OFC): 1 playoff qualifier
  • South America (CONMEBOL): 4 spots, 1 playoff qualifier

The final two qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup will be determined by the two intercontinental playoff series, which will feature one nation from each of four separate regions.

Who Has Qualified For The 2022 World Cup 

When Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup, they became the first nation to automatically qualify. They have never qualified for the World Cup finals and this is their first appearance. 

Germany qualified second and top of Group J after winning North Macedonia in October 2021. Denmark qualified in October with a 1-0 win over Austria, clinching the Group F title. Brazil beat Colombia 1-0 and became the first South American country to Qualify for the World Cup. 

On the same day, Belgium won Group E while France won Group D. Croatia won Group H by defeating Russia 1-0, while Spain won Group B. Serbia, meanwhile, overcame Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo to qualify for Group A ahead of Portugal. 

On November 15, England qualified with a 10-0 win over San Marino, with Harry Kane netting four goals. Also, Switzerland qualified ahead of Italy as Group C winners. On November 16, the Netherlands qualified for Qatar with a 2-0 win over Norway. Argentina is the latest to Qualify after a tie with Brazil and Chile losing to Ecuador.

All qualified teams include: 

  • Qatar 
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Brazil 
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Croatia
  • Spain
  • Serbia
  • England
  • Switzerland
  • Netherlands
  • Argentina

Bottom Line 

Although Nigeria is yet to qualify for the World Cup, they finished 1st in their group and qualified for the playoffs which is a very good sign. Hopefully, the Super Eagles qualify for the tournament and fight to be the first African team to lift the trophy no matter how difficult it’ll be. 

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