Nigeria’s match day 2 World Cup qualifying match away with Central African Republic is one of the scores of matches that are in threat following ban on various stadiums across the continent.
According to information obtained from SuperSport, Africa’s World Cup qualifiers have been thrown into crisis after a ban on numerous stadiums across the continent left many countries facing the prospect of hosting matches next month outside their borders.
The Confederation of African Football, in a circular to member associations this week issued a list of approved stadiums for the first two rounds of group matches in June.
The list leaves a quarter of the 40 teams competing for places in Qatar 2022 without a venue to play their home qualifiers.
Those affected include Senegal, who competed at the last World Cup in Russia in 2018, and Mali, who were among the top seeded teams for the preliminaries.
Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Sierra Leone the Central African Republic and Liberia have all not had their home stadiums approved as CAF cracks down on poor infrastructure around the continent. The last two are in the same Group C with Nigeria’s Super Eagles.
They now face a tight deadline to upgrade venues before the first set of matches begin on 5 June or they will have to host them elsewhere.
Sierra Leone were to play their last home game with Benin Republic in Conakry, Guinea as the stadium in Freetown was not approved.
Senegal open their Group H campaign at home to Togo in the first week of June, but their iconic Leopold Senghor Stadium is closed for renovations and alternate venues used for recent internationals have been declared unfit by CAF.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Uganda have had their main stadiums rejected but will still be able to play at home at smaller, alternate venues.
The group phase of Africa’s World Cup preliminaries has the 40 countries divided into 10 groups of four. They will play six matches each through until October.
In March, a similar ban on several stadia across the continent for the last round of Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers was lifted at the last minute. CAF gave no explanation for the change of heart.