Bafana likely to have tough route to Qatar

Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki and his assistant Arthur Zwane during the South African national men's soccer team training session at Orlando Stadium. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Bafana Bafana will find out today who they will meet in the group stages of qualifying for the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.

The draw for the qualifiers will take place in Cairo at 7pm SA time, with ten groups of four teams to be drawn from the 40 African countries left in the competition.

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Only the winners of the ten groups will progress to the next round of qualifying, where there will be five home-and-away knockout ties to decide which five African countries represent the continent at Qatar 2022.

South Africa’s task is likely to be extremely difficult, especially as their current Fifa world ranking means they are not among the top seeds for the competition. This means that Molefi Ntseki’s team are guaranteed to have to get past one of Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon, Mali or DR Congo to just make it into the next round of qualifying.

Ntseki’s team will be in pot two for the draw, which on the plus side means they will not play fellow countries in that pot such as Ivory Coast and Zambia.

Potential opponents for Bafana in Group C from Pot 3 are Southern African neighbours Zimbabwe, Mozambique or Namibia while Pot 4 contains two countries who qualified for the 2006 Fifa World Cup finals, in Angola and Togo.

The Fifa World Cup qualifiers will begin in October, having been moved to accommodate the qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, which were pushed forward following the decision to play the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon in January.

It is a busy year for Bafana either way, which will go some way to deciding just how well Safa’s Vision 2022 is actually going.

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