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2018 W’Cup Qualifier, Eagles Faces Tough Draw

The prospect of Super Eagles getting a favourable 2018 World Cup qualifying draws is fading following the teams poor showing on the FIFA Rankings released on Thursday.

In the rankings, Super Eagles dropped five spots to 67 in the world and 14 in Africa. Nigeria was ranked 62 in the world and 11 in Africa last February.

With FIFA set to group teams based on their rankings, Super Eagles 14 placing in Africa means it is not going to be one of the top ranked African teams.

And the poor ranking is because of the team poor showing both at the CHAN tournament and its failure to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

Egypt, which eliminated Nigeria from the Nations Cup, moved up nine places to 44 in the world and is now among the top five teams in Africa.

This latest ranking will now enhance Egypt’s chances to be among the top five seeds when the World Cup draw holds on June 24.

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Nigeria, on the other hand, will find itself in a World Cup qualifying group that has at least two teams better ranked than it.

The 2018 World Cup qualifying tournament for Africa will begin in October with 20 teams drawn into five groups of four teams each with the overall winners advancing to the final tournament in Russia.

Nigeria has featured at five World Cups thus far – 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014.

Meanwhile, Algeria moved up four spots to place 33 to lead the continent, while African champions, Cote d’ Ivoire maintain its second spot ahead of Ghana, Senegal, Egypt climbing nine positions to 34.

Cape Verde, Tunisia, DR Congo, Guinea, Congo, Cameroon and Morocco occupy 6th to 12th positions respectively, while Mali and Nigeria are ranked 13th and 14th on the continent.

In the world, Argentina moved to the number one spot after former leaders, Belgium dropped to the second position. Chile is third, while Colombia, Germany, Spain, Brazil and Portugal are placed fourth to eighth in that order.

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Uruguay and England completed the top 10 ranking in the world. The next FIFA ranking is expected to come out on May 05, 2016.