Saturday, December 9, 2023

Advantage Atlas Lions as Niger target Morocco as home for World Cup qualifiers 

The Chipolopolo Boys are set to start their 26 FIFA World Cup™ qualification campaign next month. 


The 2012 African Cup of Nations Champions winners will open their FIFA World Cup qualifiers with a home tie against Congo Brazzaville on November 17, 2023.

A week later Zambia will be away in Niger on match day 2 on 21st November.

The tricky however is on the away fixture as Niger have hinted on playing in Morocco. 

Niger’s Stade Général Seyni Kountché does not meet the CAF minimum requirements and therefore was Not approved for use.

For that reason Niger seems to have settled for Morocco who have a lot of approved facilities but the trouble is that the Atlas Lions are also in Group E. 

This means Morocco will play an extra game at home and their opponents will play an extra game in Morocco. 

The move has not sat well with the Zambian FA who have already lodged a complaint with CAF. 

Kamanga on Monday  revealed that FAZ have raised concern with the Confederation of African Football CAF over Niger’s use of Morocco as their home for the qualifiers after their Stadia failed to meet the standard. 

Kamanga said in the spirit of fair play they hope CAF will act on the misnomer. 

“We are also aware that Niger has requested to play their home match in Morocco which regrettably is in the same group with us. In the spirit of fair play, we have alerted CAF to this misnomer and hope they will act upon our request. We have no doubt our world cup campaign will get off to a flying start.”

Niger have played their last few games away from home playing in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Benin since June 2022. 

The schedule

  • 13-21 November, 2023: 1st and 2nd matchdays
  • 3-11 June, 2024: 3rd and 4th matchdays
  • 17-25 March, 2025: 5th and 6th matchdays
  • 1-9 September, 2025: 7th and 8th matchdays
  • 6-14 October, 2025: 9th and 10th matchdays
  • 10-18 November, 2025: CAF play-off tournament
  • FIFA Play-Off Tournament

The FIFA Play-Off Tournament will see six sides fight it out for the final two places at the 23rd FIFA World Cup. It will involve two teams from Concacaf and one team apiece from the AFC, CAF, CONMEBOL and OFC.

The four lowest-ranked nations will meet in bracket semi-finals. The two highest-ranked teams will go directly into the finals. The winners of the two bracket finals will reach the FIFA World Cup 26.

Aaron Mubanga
Aaron Mubanga is a qualified Environmental Health Technologist| Editor in Chief of Zambia's biggest all local football website ZamFoot| Player manager for Copper Queens duo of Barbra Banda and Evarine Susan Katongo |Brand Ambassador for Betway|Talent Scout| Women's Football Ambassador| Blogger | Football Writer|

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