Mutiu Adepoju: Ex Super Eagles Star Reflects on NFF’s Role in Finidi George’s FIFA Qualifier Failure

Mutiu Adepoju: Ex Super Eagles Star Reflects on NFF’s Role in Finidi George’s FIFA Qualifier Failure

Ero Samson
updated at June 15, 2024 at 6:21 AM
In this article:
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Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
FIFA World Cup logo
FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF) logo
FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)
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South Africa
South Africa
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  • The Super Eagles of Nigeria, under the guidance of Finidi George, fell to a defeat against the Republic of Benin
  • The defeat follows a lacklustre performance in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification series against South Africa
  • An ex-Super Eagles star has aired his thoughts on whether the NFF contributed to Finidi's underwhelming results

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Finidi George and his backroom staff have had a tough few days, facing significant backlash from Nigerian fans after failing to secure victories against South Africa and Benin Republic.

Assembled by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in early May 2024, the coaching team was tasked with achieving crucial wins in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification series to keep the Super Eagles' qualification campaign on track.

However, Finidi and the Super Eagles team suffered a defeat against the Benin Republic following a draw against South Africa.

Nigeria, Super Eagles, NFF, South Africa, Benin, FIFA World Cup qualifier, AFCON, Finidi, Mutiu Adepoju
Players of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, pose for a photo ahead of their FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Benin on June 10. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

In the aftermath of these crucial qualification fixtures, former Super Eagles midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju, shared his thoughts on whether the NFF's delay in appointing the manager contributed to the disappointing results.

Adepoju's Perspective on Finidi and the NFF

In an interview with Sports Brief, the former Real Sociedad midfielder discussed the current state of the Nigerian team following their recent qualification results.

When asked if the NFF should be blamed for the timing of Finidi's appointment and its impact on the Super Eagles' performance, the 53-year-old offered a diplomatic response:

“Well, I am not going to apportion blame to anybody, but it is what it is; it’s the situation we find ourselves in at the moment. It’s not a matter of who is at fault.
It is a matter of sitting down, planning, reviewing how things have played out, and finding a possible solution. We need to look forward.”

There has been ongoing debate about whether the NFF’s delay in appointing a manager affected the team's performance in their qualification fixtures.

Nigeria currently sits in fifth place in their Group C standings, just ahead of Zimbabwe, according to data from FotMob.

Adepoju urges NFF against sacking Finidi

Sports Brief in another report stated that Adepoju urged the NFF against sacking Finidi.

The 53-year-old stressed the limited timeframe the recently appointed manager had to plan for the crucial qualification fixtures.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)