Nigeria on the exit point of 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers-

The NFF, the coach, or the players? Who is to be blamed?

We are so used to the phrase “When you fail to plan you plan to fail.”

The Super Eagles never planned well, which most of us noted before our game against South Africa. Someone was saying a prayer before the SA game. I said you can’t be praying at this point and expect results with such a sloppy preparation.

Does Finidi have what it takes? This is his biggest job, so no one can precisely answer that now. But he was hired based on certain existing precedents that cant be overlooked.

The Super Eagles players are to be blamed the most 8h the results in both games, and not the coach. I’ve watched both games carefully and have seen that these players have dropped a high level of their adrenaline again. They can’t go anywhere with such performances. They need to be told the truth. 

Finidi could be exonerated to an extent but not the players. Let’s not forget that the federation had so much time to hire new coaches and start planning, but chose to do that just a few weeks to these very crucial games. A critical error, my take. And what has been the role of the technical department till date? 

The players are more guilty with this show they put up. They have horribly failed us, and we shouldn’t put the most blame on the coach who just got hired without proper assistants and had no single time to have a team together. I guess Finidi is also with a contract that isn’t worth praising. We shouldn’t forget that *”what makes great coaches are their assistants.”* 

You want me but can’t pay for my ‘engine house,’ which are my assistants? What has been offered George Finidi is like suicide. It now seems clear, and maybe that’s why others ran away from the offers. The nation has been ridiculed with the notion that there is no money to correctly hire assistant coaches for the Super Eagles. The federation has to come clear. It means some people are missing out on something. That’s the core value of the main coach. Aren’t they experts in this field again?

We’ve gambled with our football. It’s a huge investment, and the World Cup is only where the football federation could truly see some huge return of investments, but we have almost been locked out of it again. Too bad.

The house has just started burning, and the fire is not yet beyond quench. 

The NFF has the option to either keep or immediately let the coach go if he wasn’t really who they wanted.

If the federation intends to keep Finidi George, then it should quickly vindicate itself by sitting down with the original assistants he requested and offer them their due contracts with monthly pay. If that isn’t done, then it only would show they truly wanted the coach to fail and should be responsible.

My facts are clear. Hence, this could have been any other Nigerian coach. We don’t need the position of the head coach of the Super Eagles undermined. This isn’t how to give a coach an opportunity or job. The conditions are suffocating. Everything presented him points to those facts.

Finidi can be faulted tactically in areas his tactics failed in both games, which is correct. Sloppy errors from the players caused the team this heavy downfall this time around. The Super Eagles players are the main culprits.

Finidi has made his errors, and I guess he has also seen that some players don’t have anything to do with the team, and some that were there are no longer able to carry on. If they can’t fight and die for their country, then why take them to war?

If we analyze all 3 goals conceded against Bafana Bafana and the Squirrels of Benin, then it won’t be a question of tactics. Don’t these Super Eagles players know what the World Cup means to them and the nation?

The coach watched his players let opponents and balls stroll past them like it’s a bikini show and could only be shouting from the stands! 

I sum up my submissions by stating that my comments are without a single sentiment. I would do so if my preferred coach was also standing there as the Super Eagles coach. 

*It should only be about national interest when you are fortunate to be selected to play or work for the country.*

Austin Akpehe 

Galaxy Sports Development