Zimbabwe drawn with Nigeria, SA for 2026 World Cup African qualifying

Warriors are set to face a tough return to international football after their year and a half absence after being drawn with African footfall heavyweights Nigeria and neighbours South Africa in Group C of the African qualifiers for the 2026 Soccer World Cup.

Other teams in the group include West African nation Benin, Rwanda and Lesotho.

The winners of each group secure automatic qualification for the World Cup, while a play-off stage for the four best group runners-up determines who will represent Africa in an inter-confederation tournament in March 2026.

The first round of fixtures for African qualifiers will take place in November.

Zimbabwe are facing a race to have its stadia approved to host international matches after the continental body CAF banned the National Sports Stadium two years ago.

Despite the long absence from the international game, Zimbabwe did not take advantage of the time to revamp stadiums and are likely going to face the embarrassment of playing their home matches on foreign soil.

Meanwhile, Morocco, semi-finalists at the previous World Cup, are drawn in Group E with Zambia, Congo Brazzaville, Tanzania, Niger, and Eritrea.

Egypt are in Group A and will face Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, and Djibouti, while Senegal is in Group B alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritania, Togo, Sudan, and South Sudan.

Africa qualifying draw for 2026 World Cup, made in Abidjan on Thursday:


1, 2: November 13-21, 2023

3, 4: June 3-11, 2024

5, 6: March 17-25, 2025

7, 8: September 1-9, 2025

9, 10: October 6-14, 2025


November 10-18, 2025

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