Former Super Eagles captain, Austin Okocha, believes South Africa poses a big threat to the chances of Nigeria qualifying for the next edition of the World Cup, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The Eagles were drawn in Group C alongside South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Benin and Rwanda in Thursday’s conducted in Abidjan, Ivory Coast after the Confederation of African Football’s Ordinary General Assembly on Thursday.
Okocha who featured at the World Cups with the Eagles also said the three time African champions who have reached the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup finals on three occasions must take their chances during their qualifying games.
The former PSG player who was among the legends that graced the draw in Abidjan said,”Aside the Eagles, Bafana are about the strongest team in that group and we (Eagles) must be very careful when we play them,” Okocha was quoted as saying.
“We have not had it easy against them recently.
“Morocco showed that an African country could win the World Cup. We must follow the example of Morocco,” he said.
The Atlas Lions of Morocco surprisingly reached the semi-final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar beating countries like Spain and Portugal along the way.
There are six teams in each of the nine groups, with only the group winners guaranteed slots at the expanded FIFA World Cup finals in the summer of 2026.
The best four second-placed teams in the nine groups will then contest a mini-tournament, with the winner eligible for a playoff spot for another slot in USA/Canada/Mexico finals.
Each of the teams will play two of their 10 matches in the campaign in the FIFA window of November this year, with the other eight games to be spread between 2024 and 2025.