Minister challenges Super Eagles, 2026 World Cup qualification

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The Minister of Sports Development, Sen. John Owan-Enoh, emphasized the imperative for the Super Eagles of Nigeria to kick off their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying journey with determination. Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, he urged the team to secure a spot for the upcoming tournament, hosted jointly by the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

Ahead of their opening home game against Lesotho in Uyo on Thursday, the minister cautioned against a repeat of the disappointing non-qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He urged the team to avoid relying on permutations and instead focus on securing the first six points available in the early matches.

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Expressing confidence in the team’s capabilities and acknowledging the lingering disappointment from the previous qualifiers, Owan-Enoh stressed the importance of giving their best. He viewed the matches not merely as football games but as representations of the spirit and resilience of the Nigerian people, urging the players to make the nation proud.

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The minister lauded the Super Eagles’ rich history of success and called on the technical crew, led by Jose Peseiro, and the players to put forth their best efforts in the crucial games. He commended their dedication and hard work, promising continued government support in sports infrastructure, training facilities, and talent development programs.

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As the three-time AFCON Champions prepared to open their campaign against Lesotho on Thursday and face Zimbabwe away on Sunday, Owan-Enoh assured full government support and reaffirmed the commitment to invest in the growth and success of Nigeria’s sporting talent. (NAN)

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