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World Cup

'Nigeria will be all but dead if they miss 2026 World Cup' - Oliseh sounds Super Eagle warning

18:34 GMT+3 19/12/2022
Nigeria
Nigeria legend Sunday Oliseh has warned the Super Eagles they risk dropping behind in football if they fail to qualify for the next World Cup.
  • Nigeria have qualified for World Cup six times
  • Their best result is a Round of 16 finish
  • Oliseh explains why Nigeria have to qualify for 2026 finals

WHAT HAPPENED: Nigeria made it to the World Cup qualifying playoffs and were paired with regional rivals Ghana. After an aggregate 1-1 draw over two legs - played on a home and away basis - the Black Stars qualified for the finals in Qatar on the away goal rule.

The competition ended on Sunday with Argentina getting crowned as winners after defeating France on penalties following a 3-3 draw in regulation and extra time.

Apart from Ghana, Africa was also represented by Tunisia, Cameroon, Morocco and Senegal in Qatar. The Teranga Lions were eliminated in the Round of 16 by England while Morocco reached the semis but lost 2-0 against France.

Tunisia, Ghana and Cameroon couldn't get past the group stage.

The Super Eagles legend Oliseh has now challenged the team to qualify for the next competition in 2026 or risk dropping down the pecking order as far as football is concerned.

WHAT HE SAID: "Nigeria football will be all but dead if we failed to qualify for the next World Cup," Oliseh said as quoted by Complete Sports.

"We're already behind many countries because we didn’t qualify [for Qatar 2022] and we're further behind because we didn’t participate in this World Cup.

"Football is a religion in this country, but when you don’t have a solid league, you cannot have a good national team."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Nigeria have qualified for the World Cup six times. They made their debut in 1994 and reached the Round of 16, and achieved the same feat four years later.

However, in 2002 and 2010, they did not make it past the group stage. In 2014, they crashed out in the second round and in 2018 they, once again, failed to get past the first hurdle.

IN TWO PICTURES:

WHAT NEXT: Nigeria's immediate target is to make it for the 2023 and 2025 Africa Cup of Nations and possibly win it before focusing on the 2026 World Cup to be jointly hosted by the USA, Mexico, and Canada.