Motsepe outlines how Nigeria can fulfill their enormous potential to win the World Cup

Patrice Motsepe 2022.Fufa.
  • Caf president feels Nigeria has enough talent to win the World Cup
  • Motsepe has urged the West Africans to invest in the right structures
  • The Super Eagles missed out on the 2022 tournament in Qatar

WHAT HAPPENED? Nigeria missed out on the 2022 World Cup following their elimination by bitter rivals Ghana in the playoffs but Motsepe feels the Super Eagles should be dining with the rest at the high table of world football, but they need to put in place the right structures to harness their enormous potential.

WHAT DID HE SAY? “I am absolutely confident because of the talent, God-given skills, and history of Nigerian football,” Motsepe told Channels TV as quoted by Nigeria Soccernet.

“Nigeria is one of those countries that have the potential, not just to go to the semi-final, not just to go to the final, but to win the World Cup.

“However, they have to focus on youth football development, football facilities for boys and girls, amateur football, and football development at club level.

“They have to train coaches and train the trainers. Nigeria have to develop referees and very importantly, to make sure that we [Caf] work together with the football federation in Nigeria so that they can continue the leadership that they have provided for many years.

“We are confident that Nigerian football will continue to be not just amongst the best in Africa but in the world. I know Nigeria will make us proud as it has on so many occasions in the past. Our plan is to see Nigeria in the next World Cup.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Morocco, Senegal, Cameroon, Tunisia and Ghana were Africa’s representatives at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with Nigeria among the big names that missed out, having featured in the previous three editions.

The Super Eagles have, however, found the going tough at the global tournament, their best performance being a Round of 16 berth achieved on three occasions, in 1994, 1998 and 2014.

With Africa guaranteed nine slots at the 2026 World Cup, Nigeria, who also qualified for the 2002 edition, will be hoping to right the wrongs of 2022 by sealing a ticket to the United States, Canada and Mexico.

WHAT’S NEXT? Nigeria’s immediate focus is the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, with the next round of qualifiers slated for March when they face Guinea-Bissau.