Namibia to play Eritrea in 2022 World Cup preliminaries

29 Jul 2019 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 29 JUL (NAMPA) – Namibia was drawn against Eritrea in the Qatar Fifa World Cup 2022 Africa Zone Preliminaries during a draw conducted at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) headquarters in Egypt on Monday.
The draw, which was monitored on the official CAF Twitter account, saw 24 lowly ranked African teams being put in two different pots and paired together.
The 12 lower ranked teams were placed in pot two, while the 12 highly ranked amongst the groups went into pot one.
These matches are scheduled for 02 to 10 September 2019 and will be played on a home and away basis on these dates.
Namibia will visit Eritrea before hosting the return leg.
The 14 preliminary round winners and the 26 countries who received byes will be split into 10 groups of four after a fresh draw with the first matches next March.
The draw for the group stages will be conducted after these preliminaries, and the matches of the group stages are expected to run from 23 until 31 March 2020 and 04 to 12 October 2020.
The winners from the 10 groups will then engage in five two-leg playoffs, with the winners qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Reacting to the draw, chairperson of the International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) Normalisation Committee, Hilda Basson-Namundjebo said Namibia has a great opportunity to progress to the next round as they will be facing the lowest ranked nation on the continent.
“We are excited and we will be ready to face them. As for the coaching structure, we will pronounce ourselves when the right time comes. We just need time to interrogate the situation. The coach appointment is a big one, so we need time,” she said.
Namibia currently has a caretaker coach, Bobby Samaria, who was appointed to coach the team for the 2020 African Nations Championship qualifiers following the expiry of Ricardo Mannetti's contract.
Eritrea is the lowest ranked team on the continent and are ranked 202nd out of 211 teams in the world.
Namibia is currently ranked 121st in the world and 30th in Africa.