• WC 2018: Africa's World Cup draw history ahead of Russia 2018

    (ESPN) Africa's teams will be hoping for a favourable World Cup draw on Friday at the Kremlin in Moscow as they go into the hat to be split into eight groups of four teams each.

    Egypt, Senegal and Tunisia are in Pot 3 for the draw, while Morocco and Nigeria are in Pot 4. FIFA's general principle is to ensure that no group has more than one team from the same qualification zone drawn in it, but with Europe's 14 teams in the draw, there will be some groups with more than one European team.

    African sides have been placed in the same group as the defending champions on five occasions -- in 1974, 1978, 1990, 1998 and 2002 -- while countries that have been grouped with an African side the most at the World Cup are Argentina, Brazil, and Germany.

    The first African team at a World Cup was Egypt in 1934, but back then the finals in Italy -- only the second ever -- was nothing like the structured affair it is today. Then it was a straight knockout, and Egypt were paired against Hungary in Naples and lost 4-2.

    The subsequent draws for Morocco were:

    1970 (Mexico)

    The was draw held in January of 1970 at a Mexico City hotel without any seeding, although FIFA had initially hinted they would do so. Instead, the 16 finalists were divided into four 'geographical groupings', which also took into account the teams' strengths and even political considerations. Morocco had threatened to withdraw from the tournament if they were grouped with Israel, as they had done at the Olympic football tournament in Mexico City two years earlier. The 10-year-old daughter of Guillermo Cañedo, President of the Mexican Football Federation and the Local Organising Committee, drew out the teams from four silver cups, with Morocco grouped with West Germany (runners-up in 1966), Bulgaria and Peru. The north Africans finished bottom with one point.

    1986 (Mexico)

    The first-ever December draw was in a TV studio in Mexico City, less than three months after a massive earthquake had devastated many parts of the city and put the tournament in doubt. Algeria were back and this time drew Brazil, Northern Ireland and Spain, finishing last in Group D with just a single point. Morocco were in Group F with three European countries -- England, Poland and Portugal -- and upset the odds to finish top of the standings and become the first African side to advance past the opening round.

    1994 (USA)

    The draw was in Las Vegas, the first time in a city that was not hosting any games, and featured comedian Robin Williams, who kept making fun of draw master Blatter, calling him "Mr. Bladder" and putting on a surgical glove and saying to Blatter, "If you'll turn your head to the side and cough" before drawing the teams. Africa's representation went up to three teams with Nigeria debuting, alongside Cameroon and Morocco. Cameroon were in Group B with Brazil, Sweden and Russia and finished last. Nigeria were top of Group D ahead of Argentina, Bulgaria and Greece. Morocco played in the extreme heat in Orlando for games against Belgium and the Netherlands, and were also beaten by Saudi Arabia in New York.

    1998 (France)

    Marseille's Stade Velodrome was the first stadium to host a World Cup finals draw with 32 teams in the pots, with Africa's representation up to five. Debutants South Africa became the first to be placed in the same group with the hosts and also had Denmark and Saudi Arabia. Morocco were with holders Brazil in Group A, as well as Norway and Scotland. It was the fourth time an African country had been drawn with Brazil. In Group B, Cameroon finished last behind Italy, Chile and Austria, while Nigeria finished top of Group D ahead of Bulgaria, Paraguay and Spain. In Group G, Tunisia finished last behind Romania, England and Colombia.

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