Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Enoh, has emphasized the importance of the Super Eagles’ qualification for the 2026 FIFA World Cup following their underwhelming performance in the opening matches of the qualifying series.
Enoh expressed concern after the team managed to secure just two points out of a possible six against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
The Super Eagles’ lackluster start saw them draw 1-1 at home against Lesotho before recovering to salvage another uninspiring draw against Zimbabwe in Rwanda.
Senator Enoh, who witnessed the team’s first match in Uyo, acknowledged the team’s disappointing performance but also highlighted the need for support as they prepare for the upcoming 2023 AFCON, scheduled to take place from January 13 to February 11, 2024, in Ivory Coast.
Addressing an event organized by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Enoh emphasized the significance of Nigeria’s presence at the World Cup, stating, “Not just winning the AFCON, but it’s a great deal for the government that we are at the World Cup.
We cannot afford not to be at the World Cup.” He added, “Ten years after winning the last AFCON, I believe this is Nigeria’s time, and we must grab it.”
The Minister further emphasized the seriousness with which the Nigerian government and football-loving citizens approach the qualification for the 2026 World Cup, considering the disappointment of missing out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Enoh reiterated that qualifying for the 2026 edition is non-negotiable.
With only two points from two games, the Super Eagles currently trail behind South Africa, who lead the group with three points.
Their next match against Rwanda on Tuesday will be crucial in their quest to gather momentum in the qualifying campaign.
The Minister of Sports Development’s call for support and his commitment to ensuring Nigeria’s participation in the 2026 World Cup reflect the nation’s determination to bounce back from recent disappointments.
Fans and stakeholders alike are eagerly anticipating the Super Eagles’ response in upcoming matches as they strive to secure their place among the world’s elite football teams in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.