Botswana may host Super Eagles vs Zimbabwe World Cup 2026 qualifier

Botswana may host Super Eagles vs Zimbabwe World Cup 2026 qualifier
Credit: Iconsport

The race for the 2026 FIFA World Cup begins in November and a number of games have been confirmed, including that of the Super Eagles.

The CAF draw for the next FIFA World Cup to determine the African qualification groups took place in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire in July. 

At the end of it all, Nigeria found itself in Group C alongside South Africa, Benin, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Lesotho. Nigeria’s Super Eagles, who failed to make the last edition in Qatar, will be hoping to make the trip to North America in three years' time. 

Recently, coach Jose Peseiro extended his contract with the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winners and has been tasked to do well at the next AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire if he wants to keep his job.

The Super Eagles will host Lesotho in their opening fixture of the qualifiers and it has been scheduled for the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo on November 13.

Peseiro’s side is expected to travel to Harare for their next game against Zimbabwe a week later, but it seems there is an update regarding the match's venue.

What is the latest update?

Following the instruction from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Zimbabwe is likely to host Nigeria in Botswana for their 2026 World Cup home qualifier.

CAF had earlier condemned the National Sports Stadium, Rufaro Stadium, and Barbourfields Stadium in Zimbabwe for failing to meet international standards.

Despite assurances by Youth, Sport, Arts, and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry that the facilities would be ready soon enough to have the World Cup qualifiers played at home. Unfortunately, it seems it will not be possible at least for the beginning of the series.

Where Super Eagles v Warriors could be played

Zimbabwe will begin their World Cup qualifiers away in Rwanda on November 13. A week later, the Warriors are now expected to host the Super Eagles of Nigeria in Botswana.

Zifa Normalisation Committee chairperson Lincoln Mutasa confirmed they had “positive engagements” with Botswana Football Association officials as regards the possibility of staging the game there.

“We have spoken with Botswana and they are agreeable to helping us. It’s quite near. I’m not sure if Beira (Mozambique) is available, we are still checking, but definitely we have spoken to Botswana and the engagements have been positive,” Mutasa told NewsDay Sport.

Meanwhile, Botswana has one facility approved by CAF — the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium in Francistown, while Mozambique, which is also an option, has only one — the Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto in Maputo. 

Only one game will be played at home by Zimbabwe before the qualifiers resume next year in June.

The World Cup Schedule – Who will Super Eagles face?

The qualifying series for the 2026 World Cup, after the first two games against Lesotho and the Warriors, will continue in June 2024 with Nigeria hosting the Bafana Bafana of South Africa before a tricky game against neighbours Benin Republic.

The Super Eagles will continue their quest for the sole World Cup ticket of the group with a trip to Rwanda before a home tie versus Zimbabwe in March 2025. Peseiro’s men will then host Rwanda and a trip to South Africa in August and September, respectively. 

The final round of games in the marathon qualifiers will be an away trip to Lesotho and a home fixture against Benin, all in October.

This article was most recently revised and updated 6 months ago

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