Four of the five African teams that qualified for the Russia FIFA 2018 World Cup have gotten relatively fair draws with the exception of former Chipolopolo winning coach, Harve Renard’s Morocco side who have landed into what some analysts have termed as the group of death.
FIFA had in October announced that the winners of the 2018 edition will receive USD 38 million, while the runners-up will get USD 28 million and the third-place team USD 24 million. The minimum prize money for teams eliminated at the group will amount to USD 8 million each.
In addition, each qualified team will receive USD 1.5 million to cover preparation costs, which will be paid ahead of the competition. This means all teams are guaranteed at least USD 9.5 million each for their participation in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Nigeria, the team that topped the group in which Zambia’s Chipolopolo came second will face off the highly rated Argentina side in group D. Nigeria has an adverse head to head record against Argentina. According to stats available, the Supper Eagles have played a total of 8 games against Argentina, lost 5, drawn 1 and won 2. The two won have all been friendlies.
The other teams in group D that the Supper eagles of Nigeria will have to contend with are Croatia and World Cup debutant, Iceland. The Nigerians will need to make sure that they overcome both Croatia and Iceland to ensure that the grab qualification to the next round. Beating Argentina is possible as the game of football is won not on paper but on the field of play.
Senegal has perhaps the most favorable group, they were drawn in group H with Poland, Colombia and Japan. With adequate preparation, Senegal has a better chance of progressing to the next round as all the teams in this group are fairly rated.
The North African dominance of African football has continued with the region contributing booking 3 out of the five African slots. Morocco now coached by former Chipolopolo Africa Cup winning coach, Harve Renard will have to face off with two European rivals in Spain and Portugal in group B that also has Iran as the fourth team.
Egypt was drawn in group A with hosts Russia, Saudi Arabia and South American perpetual World Cup campaigner Uruguay. Egypt Mohammed Salah is currently enjoying top form and it remains to be seen if the pharaohs of Egypt will put together a formidable side to progress at the four year cycle soccer showdown.
Tunisia being the fifth team from Africa was drawn in group with hyped Euro campaigners England and Belgium. That fourth team in this group is Panama. The 2018 World Cup will give the Tunisians a chance to show Africa that they are worthy contenders as they seem to flounder at successive tournaments