After Super Eagles dropped two points in their 1-1 draw with Lesotho on Thursday in Uyo, Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, has urged the Nigeria Football Federation to look into and correct all the lapses observed in the opening game of the 2026 World Cup qualifier when Nigeria play Zimbabwe on Sunday in Rwanda.
“On Thursday the 16th of November 2023, at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium , I joined sports loving Nigerians to watch and cheer the Super Eagles of Nigeria play against the Likuena” (Crocodiles) of Lesotho.
“A clean sheet and goals was not too much to expect from our national team given our FIFA ranking and pedigree in football, matched against the Lesotho team especially.
“I must say, that our expectations were high, albeit the performance of the Super Eagles against Lesotho fell short,” observed the Minister.
Enoh stressed that the Federal Government and football loving Nigerians 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.”
The Sports Minister expressed displeasure over the inability of Nigerians to watch the clash with Lesotho live on television.
“Furthermore, we understand that the qualifiers are a FIFA organised competition, and so the television broadcasting rights are in the World football governing body’s purview.
“ Granted, the Ministry is taking appropriate steps in response to this situation. It is not good enough that Nigerians could not watch their national team play in their country.
“ A repeat of same should be avoided and NFF will be expected to register Nigeria’s displeasure with the appropriate authority in FIFA.
“ We apologise to Nigerians most of whom anticipated to watch the game on television. “
He therefore urged the Super Eagles to take the rest matches of the qualifiers seriously to ensure Nigeria qualify for the 2026 World Cup.
“Moving on, I charge the Super Eagles of Nigeria to be more incisive for the rest of the qualifying series.
Nigerians are all rooting for your success.”