Nigeria’s Sports Minister – Super Eagles must avoid repeat of 2022 World Cup qualifiers

Nigeria’s Sports Minister – Super Eagles must avoid repeat of 2022 World Cup qualifiers
Credit: Icon Sport

The Super Eagles of Nigeria missed out on the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after defeat to the Black Stars of Ghana in the final round of the qualifiers to the chagrin of many Nigerians.

To this effect, Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh has encouraged the Super Eagles to start the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying fixtures on a good note.

Nigeria Sports Minister
Credit: @Yeribabaa X

Enoh's compelling encouragement comes ahead of the Eagles opening match in the qualifiers against Lesotho on Thursday evening.

“The memory of losing out during the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup is still fresh in the minds of Nigerians,” he said.

“The team should avoid leaving their fate to permutations. They should bring out their best to pick the first six points in front of us.”

The Minister remained confident in the team’s abilities and highlighted the history of success the Eagles have at their back.

‘The Super Eagles have a rich history of success'

“I have complete faith in our talented squad. The Super Eagles have a rich history of success, and we believe they are fully capable of securing two wins in the upcoming matches,” he added.

Senator Enoh also reiterated the immense pride the country holds for the Nigerian national football team.

“This is not just a football game; it is a representation of the spirit and resilience of the Nigerian people,” he continued.

“I encourage our players to give their all on the field and make the nation proud.”

Senator Enoh also took the opportunity to declare the government's unwavering support towards the coaching staff led by Jose Peseiro and the development of sporting facilities to hone the skills of the country's young talents.

Super Eagles players during training
Credit: Icon Sport

“As the Minister of Sports Development, I want to assure the full support of the Government,” he concluded.

“We will continue to invest in sports infrastructure, training facilities, and programs that nurture the talent of our young athletes.”

The Super Eagles will kick off their 2026 FIFA World Cup campaign against Lesotho at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on Thursday, 16 November.

Peseiro and his team will then follow that up with a trip to Zimbabwe for the second game on 19 November.

What next for Super Eagles after the World Cup qualifiers?

The Eagles last competitive fixture this year will be against the Zimbabweans before the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Ivory Coast.

Nigeria were drawn in Group A where they'll face the AFCON host Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea Bissau.

The FIFA World Cup qualifiers will serve the Eagles a good opportunity to build stronger understanding amongst the players who are eager to be in good shape ahead of the AFCON competition in January.

This article was most recently revised and updated 6 months ago

Joseph is a freelance writer who spends most of his time writing engaging football contents. Based in Nigeria, Joseph is a die-hard Real Madrid fan with over 8 years experience in the sports betting space. He has covered football match previews, predictions, and news across leagues in Africa and Europe.