Nigeria Can’t Afford To Miss World Cup – Sports Minister Owan Enoh

 Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Enoh, has stressed that the country cannot afford to miss out on the 2026 FIFA World Cup after the poor performance of the Super Eagles in their opening two games of the qualifying series.

The Super Eagles began their campaign on a flat-footed note as they picked up just two of the available six points against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

Jose Peseiro’s men were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Lesotho at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo last Thursday before they also came from behind to pick up another tepid draw against Zimbabwe in Rwanda on Sunday.

Enoh who watched the Eagles’ first game in Uyo last Thursday admitted that the performance of the Eagles was not inspiring but also noted that the team must be supported as they also prepare for the 2023 AFCON which holds from January 13 to February 11 2024 in Ivory Coast.

“There is also the World Cup qualifiers which have started, and like everybody has said, not a very good game, but that is gone,” Enoh said at an event organised by the NFF on Friday.

“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. And ten years after winning the last AFCON, I believe this is Nigeria’s time and we must grab it.

“The government and football-loving people of Nigeria take the qualification for the 2026 World Cup very seriously and want the Super Eagles to qualify. Having missed out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, qualifying for the 2026 World Cup is not negotiable,” Enoh also said via his X account.

After missing out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Super Eagles’ slow start to their 2026 quest means they have two points from two games and sit behind South Africa who lead with three points ahead of their second game against Rwanda on Tuesday.

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