Abuja, Nigeria: In a crucial meeting held on Wednesday in Abuja, the Minister of Sports Development, Sen. John Owan Enoh, delivered a stern admonition to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Super Eagles head coach, Jose Peseiro, stressing the imperative of ensuring a commendable performance for the Super Eagles at the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Scheduled to take place from January 13 to February 11, 2024, in Côte d’Ivoire, the 2023 AFCON has emerged as a focal point for national pride and anticipation.
Sen. John Owan Enoh expressed his concerns regarding the Super Eagles’ recent form, particularly their lacklustre start to the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, where they were held to uninspiring draws by Lesotho and Zimbabwe in November.
Addressing the NFF and Coach Peseiro during the meeting, the minister underscored Nigerians’ profound passion for football, labelling it a sport deeply ingrained in the nation’s identity.
He highlighted that football is the only sport with a designated allocation in the national budget, emphasizing its societal and cultural significance.
“Our country is so passionate about football, such that amidst all other sports, football is the only sport that has an entry in the nation’s national budget.
That is how important football is because whatever happens to it happens to us as a country,” Sen. Enoh declared.
With the AFCON title eluding Nigeria for over a decade, Sen. Enoh conveyed the collective thirst of the nation to witness the Super Eagles clinch victory in the tournament.
He stressed the need for collaborative efforts between the NFF and the government to ensure meticulous planning and cohesive strategies, signalling a shared responsibility to address the aspirations of millions of Nigerians.
“After ten years, the country is thirsty to win the AFCON. It will matter a great deal to the Nigerian people and President Bola Tinubu’s government,” the minister emphasized.
Sen. Enoh reiterated the federal government’s unwavering support for Nigerian football and urged a comprehensive approach that involved both the football governing body and government agencies.
The call for synergy aims to align efforts toward achieving success in the prestigious continental tournament.
As the nation eagerly awaits the Super Eagles’ journey in the 2023 AFCON, the minister’s directive serves as a rallying call for heightened commitment, strategic planning, and a unified front in pursuit of football glory that resonates with the hearts of every Nigerian.
This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members