• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Finidi targets 2026 World Cup qualification for Nigeria

The newly appointed head coach of the Super Eagles, Finidi George, said his priority is to qualify Nigeria for the  2026 FIFA World Cup set to be hosted in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) formally introduced the former Ajax star as the team’s new coach on Monday.

Expressing his vision for Nigerian football, Finidi emphasised the importance of earning a spot in the prestigious global football tournament.

Currently, the Super  Eagles of Nigeria sit third in their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying group, with two points from two matches following disappointing draws against Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

During his unveiling at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja, Finidi, who previously served as assistant to former Super Eagles manager Jose Peseiro, made it clear that his immediate focus is on securing victories in the upcoming matches against South Africa and Benin Republic.

“My first target is to ensure that we position ourselves for qualification for the 2026 FIFA World Cup by securing victories in the upcoming matches against South Africa and the Benin Republic,” Finidi stated confidently.

“The 2025 AFCON qualifiers will soon start and we must also be prepared for those as well. I know what the NFF wants as it is boldly written in the contract, and I will work very hard to add value to the team and put myself in the position to earn even more than I will be earning from the take-off.”

The 53-year-old former international also dismissed rumours about a rift with some players in the Super Eagles, stressing that the relationship with the players remains cordial.

“I have always had a cordial relationship with all the players as an assistant coach,” Finidi added.

“I am still the same person even as Head Coach now, only that the title has changed. There will be no controversy regarding relationships with the players. These are professional players and we have to give them what they’re used to in Europe; you don’t need to slap anyone to get him to do the right thing.

“I will try my best to ensure the team starts functioning properly and we start winning games again. There is no pressure on me; I have tough skin. I just want to call for your support. I know this is not an easy job, but with the support of everyone, we can achieve our objectives.” ;

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