• Saturday, July 20, 2024
businessday logo


2026 World Cup Qualifiers: Sack Finidi now, Nigerians tell NFF

Finidi-Smiles-2 (1)

Football-loving Nigerians have urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to sack Super Eagles head coach Finidi George following the team’s disappointing performances in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

On Monday night, Finidi’s Super Eagles suffered a surprising 2-1 defeat to the Benin Republic in Abidjan. The loss followed a 1-1 draw against South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Friday.

Hoping to secure their first victory in the qualifiers, the Super Eagles failed again, leaving their chances of participating in the next World Cup in serious jeopardy.

The Super Eagles remain on three points from four matches and must win all their remaining six games to stand a chance of reaching the 2026 FIFA World Cup finals in Canada, theUSA, and Mexico.

Dissatisfied fans took to social media to express their frustration and urged the NFF to sack Finidi. Broadcast journalist Buchi Laba (@Buchi_Laba) regretted advocating for Finidi’s appointment, tweeting, “I pushed heavily for Finidi George to get the job. I’m a very stupid person. Never ever take any advice coming from me. I no get sense.”

Another football enthusiast, T A (@TA63474981), criticised the NFF for hiring an “unqualified coach” instead of someone like Emmanuel Amuneke, who won the U-17 World Cup. “NFF should be held responsible for the failure. You saw someone who won the under-17 World Cup and chose one who could not even win with a local club,” he tweeted.

Nnaemeka Edeh (@NnaemekaEdeh1) agreed with @TA63474981, stating, “Unfortunately, Finidi George wasn’t the best candidate; Emmanuel Amuneke was superior. However, the NFF, with their corrupt tendencies, prefer a more compliant individual like Finidi.”

Legal practitioner Henry Kelechukwu Eni-Otu, Esq (@OtuEsq), a passionate follower of Nigerian football, added that there are no excuses for Finidi’s performance, noting that he inherited a strong team that secured silver at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

“He did not inherit a weak team. We have a solid lineup of players. From day one, Finidi has shown a clear lack of capacity. Nigeria is on the brink of missing two World Cups in a row—2022 and now potentially 2026, something that hasn’t happened in over two decades. Finidi’s stubbornness will be his downfall. You can’t bench your best players and expect to win.

“Sack Finidi George immediately and appoint a competent foreign coach to lead the national team. Our local coaches are not ready to lead the Super Eagles yet.”
Akin Akinwale questioned the decision to appoint Finidi, saying, “Who recommended Finidi as Super Eagles coach? I really wanna know. This is hurtful. Now we begin to do calculations to qualify for the World Cup.”

Mashood Abiola echoed these sentiments, stating, “He should just resign. Obviously, he can’t handle the team. In a must-win game, I don’t know why you have to bench your most prolific attacker,”

Nigeria have a tough task of winning all their remaining six matches of the qualification series to have any chance of qualifying for the 32 teams expanded 2026 FIFA World Cup to be held by three countries; Canada, USA and Mexico.

The consensus among fans is clear: they want a change in leadership to improve the Super Eagles’ chances of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.