Mid-October 2017 — Even though there is still one more 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying round in Africa, here are some of the most high-profile Africans, including the continent’s record scorer in World Cup history, who will miss the showpiece in Russia 2018.
Riyad Mahrez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were the last two winners of the prestigious Confederation of African Football (CAF) African Footballer of the Year award, but neither will participate in next year’s tournament.
Despite having several high-profile players such as Mahrez and Islam Slimani in their squad, Algeria had a qualification campaign to forget. The Desert Foxes, who were only one of two African sides to reach the knockout stages in Brazil in 2014, only picked up one point from their five qualifying games in Group B, with leaders Nigeria having already booked their ticket to Russia 2018.
Aubameyang’s Gabon, meanwhile, were never counted among the favourites to make it to Russia, and they struggled in Group C. After picking up just one win from their first five qualifiers, Gabon can only watch from the sidelines as second-placed Ivory Coast and group leaders Morocco battle it out for a spot in Russia on the final matchday of qualification.
Asamoah Gyan of Ghana is Africa’s all-time record scorer in World Cup history after netting six goals in the past three tournaments. However, Ghana failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 2002, and had to watch Group E winners Egypt celebrate their place in Russia.
According to FIFA.com as at mid-October 2017, only 9 spots are yet to be filled at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. Hosts Russia have been joined by Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Belgium, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia, Germany, England, Spain, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Poland, Egypt, Iceland, Serbia, France, Portugal, Panama, Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina.
Wikipedia also says the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the 21st FIFA World Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of the member associations of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018, after the country was awarded the hosting rights on December 2, 2010. This will be the first World Cup held in Europe since 2006; all but one of the stadium venues are in European Russia, west of the Ural Mountains to keep travel time manageable.
Find out more about the upcoming Russia 2018 World Cup at www.FIFA.com, more info is also available about respective participating African teams at www.CAFonline.com
Source: David Kappel / FIFA / Wikipedia / CAF