Following the Super Eagles’ disappointing 1-1 draw against South Africa in their 2026 World Cup qualifier, coach Finidi George has urged Nigerians to allow him to execute his duties without undue interference.

The draw marked a challenging start for George in his role as the Super Eagles’ manager. His decision to leave out Victor Boniface, Bayer Leverkusen’s prolific striker who scored 30 goals last season, was heavily criticized, especially after the match ended with Nigeria settling for a draw.

During a post-match conference, Finidi addressed questions about Boniface’s absence, explaining that a last-minute injury to Semi Ajayi necessitated a lineup change. He assured fans that Boniface, 23, would have an opportunity to showcase his talents in the upcoming match against Benin Republic.

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“For me, performance on the field is key. Everyone has their favorite players, but ultimately, our decisions are based on who can deliver,” Finidi asserted. He emphasized the need for space to implement his strategies effectively.

Nigeria’s journey to the 2026 World Cup has been rocky, having failed to qualify for the 2022 tournament and currently holding just three points from their first three qualifiers. Despite challenges, Finidi remains optimistic about the team’s potential and is focused on achieving positive results in future matches.

The draw against South Africa highlighted areas needing improvement, and Finidi assured the media and fans alike that adjustments would be made to enhance performance going forward.