Super Eagles to begin 2022 W’Cup campaign in June

Nigeria’s Super Eagles will begin their campaign to qualify for a seventh FIFA World Cup from June 2021 according to the revised calendar of the qualification series.

In updated fixtures, the second round of the qualifiers will also be played in August, September and October 2021.

Eagles are in the same group with Liberia, Cape Verde and Central African Republic.

The qualifiers were due to begin this year October, but the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has seen a reshuffle in the African and world football calendars.

The preliminary World Cup competition will now be played in four windows next year, with two games each.

The pool stages start from May 31to June 15, and continue in the FIFA windows of August 30 to September 7 and October 4-12.

The 10 pool stage winners will then advance to a play-off round with the final top teams getting a place in Qatar 2022. Those matches will be played between November 8 and16.

The October window has been kept free for national teams to use for friendlies, before Match Days Three and Four of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations preliminaries will be staged between Nov 9 and 17.

The final two rounds of those qualifiers, where the top two teams in each of the eight pools qualify for the postponed finals in Cameroon in early 2022, are scheduled to be played from March 22 to 30 next year.

African qualification calendar:

Oct 5-13, 2020: Open for friendly matches

Nov 9-17, 2020: Match Day 3 & 4 (2021 Nations Cup)

Mar 22-30, 2021: Match Day 5 & 6 (2021 Nations Cup)

May 31-Jun 15, 2021: Match Day 1 & 2 (2022 World Cup