Jonathan Akpoborie Names 'Culprit' Behind Super Eagles FIFA World Cup Qualification Struggles

Jonathan Akpoborie Names 'Culprit' Behind Super Eagles FIFA World Cup Qualification Struggles

Ero Samson
updated at June 27, 2024 at 5:20 PM
In this article:
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FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)
  • The Super Eagles of Nigeria are at risk of missing out on the 2026 edition of the FIFA World Cup set for the Americas
  • The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finalists currently sit fifth in their Group C standings, only ahead of Zimbabwe
  • A former striker of the Super Eagles has identified the party responsible for Nigeria's shambolic qualification campaign

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria are teetering on the brink of qualification for the newly expanded 2026 FIFA World Cup in the USA, Canada, and Mexico.

The African football giants face the prospect of missing out on consecutive editions of the showpiece event, having failed to secure a victory in any of their first four qualification matches.

Nigeria, Super Eagles, NFF, Jonathan Akpoborie, FIFA World Cup, CAF, Benin
Jonathan Akpoborie has identified who is to blame for Nigeria's underwhelming FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

Currently languishing fifth in Group C standings, they trail group leaders, Rwanda, by four points, as reported by Fotmob, following their recent defeat to the Republic of Benin.

In a recent interview, former Nigeria striker, Jonathan Akpoborie, has shed light on where the blame should be placed for what is increasingly turning into a faltering World Cup qualification campaign.

Akpoborie speaks on Super Eagles World Cup qualification hopes

In an interview with media outlet, the former VFL Wolfsburg star said the Nigeria Football federation (NFF) should be held accountable for the lacklustre performances of the Super Eagles during the qualification series.

"Our issue in Nigerian football since missing the last World Cup hasn't been about coaches or players, but rather the administration," the 55-year-old emphasised.
"...the games Finidi George managed were the first instances in 10 to 15 years where we controlled possession and played like they do in Europe.
"Before appointing Finidi, the federation knew a crucial game was looming. They should have swiftly appointed a coach and organised a post-club season training camp for the players instead of letting them go on holiday.
"Our players have the ability; we see them excel in Europe every week. We just need the right leadership to harness their potential.
"The NFF must act decisively and make the right choices, as these decisions directly impact our performance on the field," he concluded.

Currently, the Super Eagles are without a coach for the upcoming qualification fixtures. Whoever the NFF appoints faces the daunting challenge of reviving the campaign of the three-time African champions.

NFF to appoint elite coach for Super Eagles

Sports Brief also reported that the NFF is contemplating appointing a high-profile coach for the Super Eagles.

Numerous top-tier coaches have been consistently linked with the vacancy left by Finidi George's resignation.

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)