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Labaran Wasanni

NIGERIA FACE TOUGH WORLD CUP DRAW AS EAGLES STILL OUT OF AFRICA TOP 5

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Three-time African champions Nigeria could still face a very difficult 2018 World Cup qualifying group even after the latest FIFA rankings saw them move up by six spots.

Nigeria are now 61st in the world, but still very much outside the top 5 in Africa at No 12 on the continent.

It is widely believed that the top 5 in the continental ratings – Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and Egypt – will enjoy a better chance of making Pot A of the draw on June 24 in Cairo, Egypt.

Next week, FIFA will announce the lucky five top seeds.

The climb up the FIFA rankings was down to the wins over Mali and Luxembourg achieved by caretaker coach Salisu Yusuf.

After crashing out of AFCON 2017, Nigeria will be seeking to qualify for a sixth World Cup when the qualifying series for Russia 2018 begin in October.

The 20-teams still in the reckoning will be drawn into five groups of four teams each with the five overall group winners catching the flight to Russia in 2018.

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