2026 WCQ: Not just, NFF, players are also culpable says Nigeria

2026 WCQ: Not just, NFF, players are also culpable says Nigeria

Nigerians are not exonerating the board of NFF and the Super Eagle players from Monday’s 2-1 defeat by Benin Republic in Abidjan in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier match.

After in 1-1 draw against South Africa in Uyo last Friday, many expected the Eagles to bounce back by defeating Abidjan but the reverse was the case as the ‘host’ shocked the Super Eagles.

While the team coach Finidi George was roundly condemned for the defeat thousands of Nigeria also took to social media to express their displeasure at the woeful performances of the players and the ineptitude of the NFF.

 “Some people are calling for Finidi’s head are the players not ashamed of themselves?  That ordinary Benin Republic beat them.  Players no longer have pride and conscience again. I am ashamed on their behalf. “Baba Tee on Facebook.

Ndala Ibrahim cannot understand why people are not talking about the players, “Why no one is blaming the Super Eagle players? Even the journalists are quiet about the players' performance but they are quick to point at the coach's fault.. because na una players and boys play rubbish for Nigerians no be Finidi”

Continued Ibrahim “At the level the Super Eagle players are playing they should be able to beat all the teams in that group even without a coach... Some journalists are scared to tell them the truth only to hype to get small akpalakpala”.

 A former footballer wrote in a WhatsApp group, “We can't throw in the towel though a disappointing result. Finidi George reassures Nigerians that when the boys "blend well" we will begin winning matches.

“I can't agree more with him because he had just begun as the head coach and the competitive nature of the group. All the teams in the group would want to prove themselves. And I see South Africa getting some upsets from other smaller teams. I see the table changing in the final round as it will be the others' turn to lose. And Nigerians will laugh the last laugh.


‘’Meanwhile, a lot of people are blaming the coach for the loss which I think they have the right to do so but what I find disturbing is the aspersions they are hurling at him and the social shaming him. I wonder what speaking "standard" English has to do with being the head coach of Nigeria Super Eagles!

“Unfortunately, some bitter people from some different tribes who don't want to stand in brotherhood have blinded some Nigerians to see the reality on the ground that the man, Finidi is doing his best to amend an already messed up World Cup qualifiers by the former coach. In addition, most of our key players are injured or recuperating from injuries: Ekong, Osimhen, Moses, Boniface, and others.

“He has just played two competitive matches as the head coach, lost one and drew one though crucial ones. In all, I think it is too early to judge and question his competence, and more so, it's unfair to cyber bully him no matter what rather he should be encouraged. Because he wants the Super Eagles to win as much as we all want them to win.”

Another former player wrote “I pity Finidi George, I honestly do. The truth is that we haven’t been playing good football for a long time. The last coach tried to steal the Afcon, to promote the impression that we were playing good football but we watched all the games and saw how they stumbled into the final.

“If you send the best coach in the world with these boys and their mentality, he won’t get a different result. I don’t believe that a Nigerian coach won’t get us a good team. What we need is a total overhaul of the national team by way of developing a new team and a new consciousness. Also, this one could be spiritual because there is a lot of anger and hunger in Nigeria.”

And football aficionado said, “Most of the boys are merely average players in their various clubs. I will even suggest an assemblage of our local players against the foreign players. I swear, this crop of our current SE players will not beat our local boys.

“Let's give it a go and see if they could beat even an Ajegunle selected under a local coach. This present crop of players are not dedicated and does not see any pride in wearing the national team colour. I do not think it is a coaching problem, but the players' lackadaisical attitude put up in matches.”