2026 World Cup Qualifiers Against South Africa, Benin Are Must-win – NFF Warns Finidi

2026 World Cup Qualifiers Against South Africa, Benin Are Must-win – NFF Warns Finidi

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By Amaechi Agbo

The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF has warned new Super Eagles handler, Finidi George that the 2026 World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic are must-win.

The Federation issued the warning when it announced the Enyimba FC gaffer as the substantive replacemennt for Jose Pesiero as the Eagles’ handler.

In a release by the federation signed by the director of communication, Mr Ademola Olajire, it said the matches are must-win encounters as Nigeria has already lost ground in the qualifying race with two points from two matches.

“George’s immediate task will be to guide the Super Eagles to victory in two 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic in Uyo and Abidjan respectively, in a little over five weeks.

“The matches are must-win encounters, with the Super Eagles lagging behind in third place in Group C of the African campaign behind Rwanda and South Africa” the federation said.

NFF announced Finidi George as Super Eagles Coach on April 29 with no details about the duration of his contract as well as pay packages

Nigeria will take on South Africa on June 3 in matchday 3 encounter before traveling to Abidjan, Benin Republic’s adopted ground for the matchday 4 encounter.

Nigeria will face South Africa in Uyo on June 3

Nigeria began the qualifiers on shaky note following their 1-1 draws against Lesotho and Zimbabwe in their opening matches. Rwanda tops the Group c with 4 points followed by South Africa with three points.

The Board of Nigeria Football Federation on Monday approved the recommendation of its Technical and Development Committee to appoint former ace winger Finidi George as Head Coach of the Senior Men National Football Team, Super Eagles.

George, spent 20 months as assistant to José Santos Peseiro before the Portuguese voluntarily left the post following the accomplishment of Africa Cup of Nations runner-up position at Cote d’Ivoire 2023, took charge of the squad in interim capacity during two friendly matches in Morocco last month.

His squad edged Ghana 2-1 in the first match, ending an 18-year winless streak against the Black Stars, but then lost 0-2 to Mali in the second game.

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