Nigeria’s Super Eagles are set to face Zimbabwe in Rwanda for their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier match according to fresh reports making rounds.
The race for the Mundial begins in November but the venue of the Super Eagles trip to Zimbabwe has been the bone of contention in recent weeks.
Zimbabwe, who are aiming to qualify for their first-ever World Cup, will battle it out with Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda, Lesotho, and Benin for the group’s solitary ticket.
On the other hand, Zimbabwe will begin their World Cup qualifiers away in Rwanda on November 13. A week later, the Warriors are expected to host the Super Eagles of Nigeria and it seems they want to remain in Kigali for their match day two contest.
In the latest reports, the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) have reportedly settled for Rwanda as its home ground for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Just a month ago, ZIFA were thinking of playing their World Cup Qualifiers (home games) in Botswana after CAF rejected Zimbabwe’s bid to use the Harare stadium for the qualifiers.
With Botswana looking unlikely, ZIFA looked towards hosting their home games in South Africa, but with the lastest development, it looks off the table.
ZIFA have now decided to play their qualifying matches in one of the approved stadiums in Kigali.
Govt unaware Warriors will host Nigeria in Rwanda
Despite ZIFA's decision to play the match in Rwanda, a Zimbabwean government official has claimed to be unaware of ZIFA’s plans ahead of next month's 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
However, the recent developments have thrown the old plans away and ZIFA are now trying to settle for a less expensive option, which a government official has claimed to have no knowledge about.
As per NewZimbabwe (via Pindula), Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Sports Arts and Culture Emily Jesaya has emphasized the Ministry’s lack of official information, highlighting the recent lifting of the ban by FIFA.
While affirming the nation’s readiness to compete internationally, she acknowledged the inability to host soccer matches within the country.
Previously, ZIFA's 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.
Question marks over Super Eagles' readiness for the World cup Qualifiers
Nigerians are not so convinced about the chances of their side to make a great start to the World Cup Qualifiers following their performances in the recent FIFA international window.
The Super Eagles drew 2-2 with Saudi Arabia in the first game before labouring to beat Mozambique 3-2 in the other one.
Talking point from those games is the lack of an assured goalkeeper in the national team as Francis Uzoho made comical errors, yet he played all the minutes in both fixtures. It brings rise to the question of whether there is need for a new goalkeeper and if the defence at large still needs to be tweaked to find some more balance.
The qualifiers are expected to prepare Jose Peseiro’s men for the Africa Cup of Nations in Côte d'Ivoire next year but it seems there are questions begging for answers on the team at the moment.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago