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” Qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup non-negotiable” – Nigeria’s Sports Minister declares

Nigeria’s Sports development Minister, Senator John Owan Enoh says qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup is non-negotiable.

The Minister’s comments comes on the backdrop of the Super Eagles 1-1 draw vs Lesotho on matchday one of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

According to the Sports Minister, Nigeria must avoid a repeat of the 2022 edition miss.

” 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,” Senator Enoh stated.

” Having missed out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, qualifying for the 2026 World Cup is not negotiable.”

“I urge the Nigeria Football Federation to look into and correct all the lapses observed in Thursday’s match with the aim of putting in a much better performance in Rwanda on Sunday, November 19, 2023 against Zimbabwe.”

On the broadcasting issues that prevented some Nigerians from watching the national team in action vs Lesotho, Senator Enoh explained the Ministry’s efforts to resolve the situation.

Senator John Enoh, Nigeria's Sports Minister
Senator John Enoh, Nigeria’s Sports Minister

The Sports Minister urged the NFF to register Nigeria’s displeasure with the appropriate authorities.

“We understand that the qualifiers are FIFA-organized, and so the television broadcasting rights are in the World Football Governing Body’s purview,” he said.

“It is not good enough that many Nigerians could not watch their National team play in their country. A repeat of the same should be avoided and NFF will be expected to register Nigeria’s displeasure with the appropriate authority in FIFA.”

After acknowledging the challenges, Senator Enoh said Nigerians are still backing Super Eagles, urging them to display collective desire throughout the remaining qualifying series.

“Nigerians are all rooting for your success,” he concluded, emphasizing the collective desire for the team’s advancement in the qualifiers.

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