Qualifying Nigeria For 2026 World Cup My Goal – Finidi

Super Eagles head coach, Finidi George, has declared his immediate target is to qualify Nigeria for the 2026 World Cup slated for Canada, Mexico, and U.S.

He made the declaration after he was officially unveiled to the press as the new head coach of the Nigerian senior men national team by the minister of sports development, John Enoh and president of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ibrahim Gusau, yesterday at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.

“For me, my first target is to make sure we are in line to qualify for the 2026 World Cup, the AFCON qualifiers will also be coming up soon,” Finidi George declared.

The 53-year-old former Ajax star who officially left his post as Enyimba head coach on Sunday to concentrate on his new job, said his immediate target is to win the next two qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic. 

“The major step and target for me is the next two World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic that we have. If we can win the matches we have set the tone and we will take it up from there.

“The coach warned that going forward; players will be invited to the Super Eagles based on regular playing time in their clubs and commitment to the national team.

He dismisses insinuations about having rifts with some of the players in the team, saying his  relationship with the players was perfect and professional.

“My relationship with the players was very perfect. Have been with the team for 20 month and I have a perfect relationship with the players as an assistant coach and now that I’m the head coach, we will not change anything. I’m the same person and I will just try to improve on our relationships,” Finidi said.

The Eagles gaffer named his former national teammate, Daniel Amokachi and two foreigners as his assistants.He also retained Olatunji Baruwa as the goalkeeper’ s trainer. Baruwa occupied the same position under Jose Peseiro, while the names of the two foreign assistants would be revealed before the Super Eagles 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying fixtures against Bafana Bafana of South Africa and Squirrels of Benin

While unveiling  the coach, NFF President Ibrahim Gusau said the coach will be given all the support he needs to succeed in the task ahead.“We have given our coach the opportunity to choose his assistants. We won’t impose anybody on him, but we are going to engage the assistants on game basis and pay the head coach monthly salary. We want to avoid salary issues,” Gusau said.


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