The Nigerian Football Federation have apologized to the federal government of Nigeria and Nigerians after the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
A goalless draw in Kumasi, Ghana last Tuesday put the match in favour of the Ghanaians who only needed a draw to qualify, as the away goals rule is still in effect in CAF competitions.
That they did, coming over to Abuja on Tuesday to hold the Super Eagles to a 1-1 draw to grab one of Africa's five tickets to the World Cup alongside Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, and the African Cup of Nations champions Senegal.
The Super Eagles disappointed on the night and fans showed their disappointment after the game in a violent manner as they stormed the newly built Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja to vandalise the pitch and wreck equipment.
On social media, fans tore into the players, the team's handlers, and the leadership of the NFF for failing to deliver on a very flamboyant promise of making it to the World Cup and reaching the quarter finals at least.
The NFF have now officially apologized to a disgruntled fanbase for failing to deliver on this mandate.
The apology read: “There was nothing the team needed that was lacking. The Government provided necessary support; the NFF put all logistics in place with the active support of the Sports Ministry, and; Nigerians turned out en masse to support the team.
“The truth is that we left nothing to chance. It is sad that things turned out the way they did.
“Sport is about winning and losing. Nobody wants to lose, but sometimes it happens that way. We are quite sad that despite playing a draw in Kumasi, the Super Eagles could not win here in Abuja. We apologise unreservedly to the Government and people of Nigeria for this non-qualification.”
NFF to be sanctioned by FIFA, CAF after fan riots
The NFF are set for more headaches after the riots following Nigeria's failure to qualify for the World Cup.
The world football governing body, FIFA and Africa's football governing body, CAF, have both announced that they will be sanctioning the NFF for the incident which led to destruction of CAF and FIFA property.
The angry supporters also attacked Ghanaian players and fans which strengthened CAF and FIFA's position on the sanctions.
It is understood that the sanctions could come in form of fines and stadium bans for the foreseeable future, which will mean that Nigeria will host future home games without fans for a stipulated duration.
This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago