Nigeria will be the fourth seeded nation in pot 1 of round three of the Fifa World Cup qualifiers Confederation of African Football (Caf) Zone, which comes up on Monday, September 16 in Cairo, Egypt.
The Fifa Ranking released on Thursday afternoon will be used to determine which Africa’s top five seeded teams to be placed in pot 1 at the draw which precedes the two-legged playoff matches applied to decide the five nations that will represent Africa in Brazil next year.
The Super Eagles featured in 3 of the 185 matches played last month and their impressive results against South Africa, Malawi and Burkina Faso, increased their point haul to 707 points, a slight improvement on the 700 they tallied in the August ranking.
The African Champions however dropped by a place in the table to 36 (a joint position alongside Venezuela) from the 35th spot they did cling to since July but improved on their continental rating due to Mali’s underperformance.
Mali, which until last month was Africa’s third rated nation, slipped by 6 places to 38, following their ouster from the final phase of the 2014 World Cup qualification.
The biggest surprise of the day happened outside the Fifa Rankings as Cape Verde Island, who were on the verge of becoming the smallest ever African nation to ever feature at the World Cup were disqualified for featuring an ineligible player in a home game against Tunisia with their place handed back to the North Africans.
Tunisia, which lost surprisingly to Cape Verde in Rades on Saturday, will now be seeded fifth in pot one in the playoff draw.
Fifa will in this particular order list Ivory Coast (19th-ranked), Ghana (24th-ranked), Algeria (28th-ranked), Nigeria (36th-ranked) and Tunisia (46th-ranked) as Africa’s top five nations.
The other nations in pot 2 and in their latest ranking order will be Egypt (50th-ranked), Burkina Faso (51st-ranked), Cameroon (61st-ranked), Senegal (66th-ranked) and Ethiopia (93rd-ranked).
The playoffs round starts October and ends November.