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No ‘group of death’ in 2022 World Cup

By Gowon Akpodonor
02 April 2022   |   3:30 am
The Black Stars of Ghana will face Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal when hostilities begin at Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup in November this year...

Cameroon’s players pose for a group picture ahead of the second leg of the 2022 Qatar World Cup African Qualifiers football match between Algeria and Cameroon at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in the city of Blida on March 29, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Ghana Face Portugal, Tunisia Against France
• Cameroon Vs Brazil, Morocco Tackle Belgium
• Davido, Others Perform Hayya Hayya Soundtrack

The Black Stars of Ghana will face Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal when hostilities begin at Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup in November this year.

The Black Stars, who stopped the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the play-off on Tuesday in Abuja, will also face Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon have been drawn against South American giants, Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia in Group G, just as Morocco will face Belgium, Croatia and Canada in Group F.

The Taranga Lions of Senegal will trade tackles with the host nation, Qatar, The Netherlands and Ecuador, while Tunisia will do battle against France, Denmark, UAE/Australia/Peru in Group D.

The Three Lions, England, got a dream World Cup draw as they will face the USA, Iran and either Scotland, Wales or Ukraine in Group B.

If England progress in the group stages, they will Senegal or Holland in the next stage, then potentially champions, France, in the quarterfinals.

Argentina, Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia will meet in Group C, just as Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica/New Zealand have been drawn in Group E.

Two Intercontinental finals will be played in Qatar on June 13/14. Costa Rica plays New Zealand in one, while in the other, Peru takes on the winner of Australia vs UAE play-off set for June 7, also in Doha.

Those games were moved from March because of the disruptive effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, which put back qualifiers in some parts of the world.

England will play on the opening day of the World Cup against Iran.

Unlike other World Cups, where it starts with just one game on the first night, there are four games on day one – November 21.

England and USA are playing in the same group for the third time at the FIFA World Cup, with England remaining winless in the previous two, losing in 1950 and drawing in 2010.

If Wales or Scotland qualify for the World Cup, they will be in England’s group. Otherwise it’s Ukraine against England.

Eight former players and managers conducted the draw, including World Cup winners Cafu, of Brazil, and Lothar Matthaus, of Germany.

The others were Nigeria’s Jay-Jay Okocha, Tim Cahill, Adel Ahmed MalAllah, Ali Daei, Bora Milutinovic and Rabah Madjer.

Ex-Everton midfielder Cahill, scored Australia’s first World Cup goal and played at four tournaments, while former Bolton playmaker Okocha helped Nigeria qualify for their first World Cup in 1994.

Serb Milutinovic is the only person to manage five consecutive World Cups with different teams (Mexico 1986, Costa Rica 1990, USA 1994, Nigeria 1998 and China 2002).

MalAllah won Fifa World Youth Championship silver with Qatar in 1981 and played at the 1984 Olympics.

Madjer scored for Algeria in their 1982 World Cup win over West Germany, while Daei was the all-time men’s top scorer in internationals with 112 until Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo overtook him last year.

La’eeb was unveiled as the official mascot for Qatar 2022 World Cup yesterday.

Also at the draw ceremony yesterday, Trinidad Cardona, Nigeria’s Davido and Aisha performed the first single for the 2022 World Cup soundtrack – Hayya Hayya (Better Together).

The combination of breakthrough US star Trinidad Cardona, Afrobeats icon Davido and Qatari sensation Aisha captures the spirit of the FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Sound strategy by bringing together inspiration from across the globe.