BY APESIN ADEMOLA.
The Super Falcons are in Pot 4 of the FIFA Women’s World Cup to be hosted by France next year as the draw is conducted at La Seine Musicale on the island of Île Seguin, Boulogne-Billancourt, in the host country, from 6pm (local and Nigerian time) on Saturday.
They could therefore be paired against United States, Germany, host nation France or any other strong opposition.
Despite being one of only seven countries to have featured in all seven past editions of the global tournament, Nigeria have not fared too well with only three wins and same number of draws in 22 matches they are placed 39th in the latest FIFA rankings.
Among the teams in the hat, the Super Falcons are only better than the two other African representatives – Cameroon (46th) and South Africa (48th) – as well as Jamaica (53rd).
France (No 3) will be the top team in Group A. They will not face any of the other seeded sides – United States (No 1), Germany (No 2), England (No 4), Canada (No 5) and Australia (No 6).
The Americans have won the title three times (1991, 1999 and 2015), while Germany were champions back-to-back in 2003 and 2007.
In Pot 2 are two other past winners, Japan (2011 and currently No 8 in FIFA rankings) and Norway, 1995 champions and now 13th in FIFA standings.
Completing that Pot are the Netherlands (No 7), Sweden (No 9), Brazil (No 10) and Spain (No 12).
Pot 3 is made up of Korea Republic, China PR, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland and Thailand.
Ahead in Pot 4 are two South American teams Argentina (No 36) and Chile (No 38), who are joined here by Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa and Jamaica.
By the rule of the draw, no group can contain more than one team from each confederation apart from UEFA, which have nine teams, where each group must contain a maximum of two UEFA teams.
South Africa, who won bronze medal in the recently concluded African Women’s Championship in Ghana, will be making their entry into the global stage in France 2019.
Other debutantes are Chile, Jamaica and Scotland.
Italy are returning to the tournament for the first time since 1999, hosted by the United States where they exited at the group stage.
Also back in the competition are Argentina, who have been absent since 2007 when they placed bottom of their group.
Apart from the Super Falcons of Nigeria, the regulars are the United States, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Brazil and Japan.
Next year’s tournament holds from June 7 and July 7.