AFCON qualifiers: Super Eagles to face Benin, Rwanda, Libya in Group D

FILE: Nigeria’s players pose ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2023 semi-final football match between Nigeria and South Africa at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake on February 7, 2024. (Photograph: Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

The Super Eagles have been drawn against familiar foes the Benin Republic in the qualification race for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Placed in Group D, the Super Eagles face Benin Republic who defeated them recently in a 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

In the draw ceremony held in Johannesburg, South Africa on Thursday, Nigeria will also play Libya and Rwanda – who are also part of the Super Eagles’ lot for the race to the World Cup in the USA, Canada, and Mexico in two years.

The qualifiers for the 2025 AFCON will begin in September and end in November 2025. But the competition will hold between December 21 2025 and January 18, 2026

Caged Eagles

Nigeria’s AFCON 2025 qualifiers offer a redemption chance for the Super Eagles who have suffered misfortunes since finishing as runners-up in the last edition of the competition earlier in the year.

The Super Eagles have only managed three points from four games in the qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, the latest being a disappointing loss to the Cheetahs of Benin Republic.

That defeat triggered a barrage of criticisms from fans who wondered what could be wrong with a team parading Africa’s best player Victor Osimhen (he did not play against Benin) and a host of other stars.

Calls for George Finidi’s sack as the head coach of the team reached new highs in the wake of the defeat. Days after, the former international resigned from the post about two months after he was appointed.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is yet to comment on Finidi’s resignation with the former Enyimba coach on Wednesday unveiled as Rivers United’s technical adviser.