My first task is to qualify Nigeria for 2026 World Cup – Finidi

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Finidi George,  Head coach of the Super Eagles, says his immediate task and priority is to qualify the nation for the 2026 World Cup slated for Canada, Mexico and U.S.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Board of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on April 19, appointed George as Head Coach of the Super Eagles.

George stated this at his unveiling as the new head coach of the Super Eagles by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), at the Moshood Abiola National stadium on Monday in Abuja.

NAN reports that the former Ajax Amsterdam winger, who was assistant to former Super Eagles gaffer Jose Peseiro was jointly unveiled by the NFF President, Ibrahim Gusau and Sports Minister, Sen. John Owan Enoh.

“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.

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“But the major target for me is the two games we have, we will do everything to win against South Africa and Benin Republic.

“Once we do that we will have set the tone and we will take it from there,” he said.

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 rift with some players in the Super Eagles, stressing that the relationship with the players was ‘perfect’ and professional.

“My relationship with the players is very perfect. I will try to improve on my relationship as this will be different. You will not hear any controversy on my relationship,” he said.

Earlier, NFF President Ibrahim Gusau said the coach will be given all the support he needs to succeed in the task ahead.

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“We have given our coach the opportunity to choose his assistants. We won’t impose anybody on him.

“We are going to engage the assistants on game basis but will pay the head coach monthly salary. We want to avoid salary issues,” he said .

The Minister of Sports Development, Sen. John Owan Enoh stressed the importance of having and supporting indigenous coaches to succeed.

“We have an opportunity to have a local coach to lead the Super Eagles. Back then in my University days, I would go to UJ Eseune stadium to watch Calabar Rovers and see Finidi George play.

“I am honoured to be here to witness his unveiling, if you love Nigerian football, you must love and support Finidi George. His success will bring joy to Nigerians.

“Any country I find an indigenous coach sitting on the bench, I always feel very proud and I am glad that we have an opportunity that have a Nigerian coach, Finidi George, as football men national team coach, ” he said.

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NAN reports that  details of the contract was not revealed.

The  coach has picked  ex-international, Daniel Amokachi as assistant coach,  Olatunji Baruwa as goalkeeper trainer,  Mehmet Ozturk, match analyst, Benjamin James and Chima Onyeike, fitness trainers.

The immediate task of the coach is to get the Super Eagles back on track in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers where Nigeria currently sit third in Group C, with two points from two matches.

Nigeria drew with Lesotho and Zimbabwe in the first two matches in the qualifying series in November.

The Super Eagles will face South Africa and Benin Republic in June, in what has been described as a make or mar clash.

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