Africa awaits the draw for the final phase of the African qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup

CAIRO: The football fans of the African continent are in waiting for the draw for the final phase of the African World Cup qualifiers in Qatar’s questyear, which will take place tomorrow, Saturday, in the Cameroonian city of Douala, on the sidelines of the Africa Cup of Nations. 10 teams, including 4 Arabs, qualified for the finals of the World Cup qualifiers, after their groups passed the group stage in the qualifiers, as they were distributed in two levels, in based on the ranking issued by the International Football Association (FIFA) last November. Each tier one team will meet one of the tier two teams in two home and away matches in the period from 24 to 29 March next, where the first legs will be played in the stadiums of the second level teams, while the decisive second legs will be played in the stadiums of the first level teams. In the first level we find Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Nigeria, which occupied the first five places in the ranking of African teams in the FIFA ranking, while the second level includes the teams of Egypt, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali and the Democratic Republic. Republic of the Congo. What increases the excitement of the comparisons in the last round of qualifying is that all the teams qualified for this role have already participated. in previously at the World Cup, with the exception of the Mali team, which is still looking for its first appearance in World Cup. Perhaps this phase will witness a purely Arab confrontation if the Egyptian team gets involved in a clash with any of the teams from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, but lovers of Arab football are hoping that all their representatives will take on this role in the World Cup. Nine teams of the qualifiers participate in the finals of the African Nations, where the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the only team that has failed to reach the continental competition, whose play-off they will start on Sunday. It is certain that the results of those teams, especially the Arab ones, in African nations will cast a shadow on the preparation for the final phase of the World Cup qualifiers, in particularly the Algerian team, which aims to reach the World Cup for the fifth time in its history, after having missed the last edition of the World Cup which took place in Russia in 2017. The Algerian team hopes to return the smile to its fans, who have suffered a real shock after the early exit from the first of the African Nations, reaching last place in the Group E standings, which included Ivory Coast , Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone, with one point, scoring only one goal, while his network conceded 4 goals, a surprise that was not expected by the most pessimistic fans. Despite the early exclusion of the Algerian national team from African nations, the team received renewed support from Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who wrote on his Twitter account: “This is the logic of football. big stay great, so don’t despair, we encourage and support you today and tomorrow. Better luck in the next few interviews, God willing. “As for the Tunisian team, which gave the Arabs their first World Cup victory, when they defeated Mexico 3-1 in the group stage of the 1978 World Cup in Argentina hopes to participate for the sixth time in the great world forum in its history and the second in a row, after participating in the World Cup in Russia. The team (Carthage Eagles) will look to move forward in African nations, despite the difficulty of facing Nigeria in the round of 16, to gain momentum before resuming its march in World Cup qualifiers. For its part, the Moroccan team, who have reached the World Cup 5 times, are participating in the finals and are thrilled with the positive results under the leadership of Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodzic. All six matches of their group, to obtain the full grade. The Moroccan team maintained its good level in the first round of the African Nations, where it led its group in the first round, to face its Malawian counterpart in the round of 16, hoping to continue the path towards the title. The Moroccan team had given Arab football the first point in its history in World Cup, when they drew 1-1 with Bulgaria in the group stage of the version of the tournament that took place in Mexico in 1970. It is also the first Arab and African team to get through the first round, after climbing to the playoffs in the tournament version, always in Mexico in 1986. As for the Egyptian team, which sees the first appearance of the Arabs at the World Cup, after its participation in the 1934 World Cup in Italy, will try to climb for the fourth time in the tournament, after having also been present in the 1990 and 2018 editions respectively in Italy and Russia. Despite the lackluster performance of the team (Pharaohs) in the first round of the African Cup, but reserved a place in the round of 16, but his Portuguese coach, Carlos Queiroz, pointed out in more than one occasion that his main goal with the team is to move up to the World Cup. While Nigeria are looking to qualify for the seventh time in their World Cup history, the Cameroon team aspires to improve their record of African team most visible at the World Cup, after having participated in 7 previous editions, while dreaming of repeating his career at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, when it qualified for the first time in the quarter-finals In the history of African teams, before losing 2-3 against England. Ghana, which was close to becoming the first African team to reach the semifinals of the World Cup during its participation in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa is trying to undo its recent failure in African nations after its exit from the former round, going up in World Cup for the fourth time in its history. . Senegal, which currently leads African teams according to the FIFA rankings, are aiming to participate in the World Cup for the third time after the 2002 and 2018 editions, while the Democratic Republic of the Congo dreams of returning to the World Cup, having only participated once in 1974. in West Germany. (Dpa)