The 2018 FIFA World Cup draw comes up on December 1 at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow with Nigeria’s Super Eagles one of the 32 qualifiers to be picked from four pots.
The October FIFA ranking [Nigeria was demoted to 50th place in the November ranking] was used to define the seeding and the pot placements.
There will be eight groups and Nigeria could be grouped with Germany, Peru, and Iceland – using a straight line composition from the table above.
One of the hosts of the draw, England’s Gary Lineker, posted on Twitter that in a mock draw, Nigeria was grouped with Argentina, France, and Mexico – but that will not happen on Friday because Argentina and France are in Pot 1; and Nigeria will only be in the same group with a maximum one team from each pot.
Nigerian football fans, buoyed by the smooth passage of the Super Eagles through the qualification series, have been asking for England [disaffection to the defection saga by Tammy Abraham] to prove they are better.
In reality, what can happen on Friday?
The Super Eagles should really not care who comes out of the pot.
Just two weeks ago in Krasnodar, the team showed FIFA’s ranking would not always determine the team that will win matches. It will be 11 versus 11 thus the team that has the more determined players and with a better understanding of the opponent would 98% of the time triumph.
After settling the bonus issue with the players, NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, has now given Coach Gernot Rohr an additional two-year contract.
“After signing the agreement on payment to the team from expected FIFA income, the next stage was to take care of the Technical Adviser. He has done very well and does not need to go into the World Cup uncertain of his future.”
So really, this NFF have taken away the parts that most often lead to national teams not performing well. Since Clemens Westerhof took Nigeria to USA 94, no Nigerian national team coach was retained after a World Cup tournament. Maybe it was always a means to an end.
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Rohr knows now that a good performance will stand him and his players in good stead for the next assignment and there is that possibility that he could actually lead Nigeria to Qatar 2022.
Having taken care of the homestead, Nigerians need not fear anything from Friday’s draws. We are preparing adequately and we will be ready for any opponent come June 2018!