The Federal Government has called on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to look into and correct all the lapses observed during the match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Likuena (Crocodiles) of Lesotho at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Akwa Ibom, Akwa Ibom State, south south of Nigeria.
This according to it was with a view to putting a much better performance in Rwanda on Sunday 19th of November 2023 against Zimbabwe.
The Hon Minister of Sports Development Sen John Owan Enoh made the call in a statement following the outcome of November 16, 2023 football match.
The statement personally signed on Friday and made available to the Ministry’s Directorate of Press and Public Relations, Sen Enoh recalled that on Thursday the 16th of November 2023, at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, he joined sports loving Nigerians to watch and cheer the Super Eagles of Nigeria play against the Likuena (Crocodiles) of Lesotho.
“I must say that our expectations were high, albeit the performance of the Super Eagles against Lesotho fell short,” he said.
The Minister said: “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.”
He said qualifying for the 2026 World Cup is not negotiable, especially having missed out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
According to him, 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.
“We understand that the qualifiers are a FIFA organized competition,” Enoh said. “And so the television broadcasting rights are in the World football governing body’s purview.”
“It is not good enough that Nigerians could not watch their National Team play in their country but,” he said. “The Ministry is taking appropriate steps in response to this situation.”
While apologizing to Nigerians, most of whom anticipated to watch the game on television, he used the occasion to say that a repeat of same should be avoided.
He said NFF will be expected to register Nigeria’s displeasure with the appropriate authority in FIFA.
“Nigerians are all rooting for your success,” he charged the Super Eagles of Nigeria to be more incisive for the rest of the qualifying series.