Elim. 2022 World Cup: Superstitious FIFA ranking and the African “major five” scenarios

Elim.  2022 World Cup: Superstitious FIFA ranking and the African “major five” scenarios Gustavo Sangaré of Burkina Faso is challenged by Djamel Eddine Belamri of Algeria during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Algeria and Burkina Faso held at Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida, Algeria on 16 November 2021 © Sports Inc – Photo by Icon sport – Mustapha Tchaker Stadium – Bilda (Algeria)

Published on : / Through Yannick Kenné

That’s it ! Africa holds its top 10! The 10 most at the top of African football at the moment. Truly ? Unless we are mistaken, it looks like the African Top 10 of the latest FIFA ranking unveiled on October 21, 2021. Finally, with one exception: DR Congo has supplanted Côte d’Ivoire. We would therefore venture to say that the hierarchy has more or less been respected … until now. And if we follow this superstitious logic, we would conclude that Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Nigeria, would be at the final count in March 2022, during the 3e round of these qualifiers, the « happy » elected to carry the torch of Africa in Qatar next year.

Damn! Until then, we see the supporters of other nations repelled by our superstitious and bordering on insane logic, they would say. Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Cameroon, and DR Congo would therefore become left behind and yet they swallowed snakes to access this final stage of the qualifiers? What an infamy! To believe for the supporters of Cameroon that their team, which has yet eliminated Côte d’Ivoire, a tough guy, will not qualify? That the Egypt of Mohamed Salah, the most successful nation in continental football, and author of an undefeated campaign will be left behind? Or that Mali, which is in top form, will be absent from this football high mass? Ghana? DR Congo?

Obviously these conjectures do not obey any logic, because yes, football is not an exact science in the era of leveling values, which is sometimes done from below. It remains all the same that this scenario, like so many others are possible for the continuation and the end of these eliminations. Indeed, the ten best African nations of these qualifiers were classified in two hats. The first is made up of: Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Nigeria, the African fifth in the FIFA rankings; the second from: Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Cameroon, and DR Congo, which complete this top 10 with one exception. The procedure is that the teams in hat 1 cross those in hat 2. Naturally, the teams of the same hat are not called to compete. And of these combinations which will be known at the end of the draw for the play-offs scheduled for December 18, 2021, several scenarios could arise.

One of them, following the logic of our oracular conjectures, would be that the top 5 of the FIFA rankings eliminate, strong in this position, their opponents from the second half, to confirm their status. Secondly, it is not excluded that this status is challenged by the 5 seconds of hat 2, who would then qualify, and would become the only ambassadors of the continent in Qatar. And thirdly, the continent’s “big five” could also be formed from a mixture of the top 5 and 5 seconds in the FIFA rankings after the scheduled round-trip confrontations. Once again, football is not an exact science. That is ! But it still holds an ineluctable arithmetic logic filled with equations with multiple unknowns, the results of which are the reflection of hypotheses formulated before the game. which at the end animates the game.

The suspense therefore subsided just long enough for the end of the 2e round of these qualifiers, and should reach its climax next March, with the prediction of beautiful posters for the 3e tower. Africa will only have the representatives it deserves at this World Cup. Will they be the best of the 10? Nothing is less sure. But only those who have given the best of them will form the African “major five” for Qatar 2022. And by then, they will inevitably have imposed a new set of musical chairs in the FIFA rankings.

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