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2026 WCQ: ‘It’s Not A Disaster Yet’ — Rufai Backs Super Eagles To Recover From Shaky Start

2026 WCQ: ‘It’s Not A Disaster Yet’ — Rufai Backs Super Eagles To Recover From Shaky Start

Former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Peter Rufai has backed the team to secure a place at the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The three-time African champions have endured a disappointing start to their qualifying campaign.

Jose Peseiro’s charges laboured to a 1-1 draw in their first game against the Likuena of Lesotho.

The Super Eagles also rallied to earn a share of the spoils against the Warriors of Zimbabwe in their second game.

Despite the team’s stuttering start, Rufai has urged supporters to keep faith with Peseiro and his boys.

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“They can surprise us. Football is a crazy sport. I believe they can still turn things around and make Nigerians happy,” the 60-year-old, who played at the 1994 and 1998 World Cup finals, told BBC Sport Africa.

“It’s not a disaster yet.

“I expect the team to turn it around and qualify for the World Cup.”

The Super Eagles currently occupy third position on the Group C table behind Rwanda and South Africa.

The three-time African champions will be up against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in their next game in the qualifiers in June, 2024.

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • Mr. Rufai, I love you but I partially disagree with you on this one. Yes, it is not a disaster yet but it will be if this coach is allowed to continue. I cannot say I have seen anything good about this team since he became the coach. In fact the team has gotten worse.
    He should not have been hired in the first place and having made the mistake, his contract should not have been renewed. Fumbling, incompetent, corrupt NFF who seem to think with their anus are party to this farce.
    What to do now? Pay him all his entitlements immediately and cut him and his entire coaching staff loose with immediate effect. Bring in Mr.Oliseh, Mr. Egbo and the current Remo Stars coach to take us to The Nations Cup and steer us through World Cup qualifying with Mr. Rufai as the goalkeeping coach and attach Mr. John Michael Obi to the team in some capacity maybe as a mentor.
    Mr. Peseiro should have been fired yesterday.
    Enough of this garbage!

  • Ako Amadi 5 months ago

    Clearly, the African teams making a steady start are from countries with the best leagues and football administration

  • Mercy 5 months ago

    Please guys. Just a quick question. Who make decision on the goal keeper that will start a match. Is it the coach or the goal keeper’s training?

  • John-1 5 months ago

    They should reduce the invitation of these foreign-born players until they’re ready to play the African way. Invite some serious home-based talents and blend them with the more experienced Eagles around.

  • Abbey 5 months ago

    Yeah! Eagles can bounce back,but not with Paseiro in charge

  • Abbey 5 months ago

    True talk Mr Rufai,but not with Uzoho and Paseiro!

  • Sportradio88.0 fm 5 months ago

    Who among the new set of super eagles has played in caf confederation cup ,caf champion league or local afcon.,non have African mentallity . compared to those days when we move from Lagos to requiem fc ,to zamalek to asec to Esperance even sundown was not among d club den before going to Belgium,Holland France, but now it is u 20 to London and sent on loan to waste creating a weak team for the national team that get people angry after a game with little Africa counties .eg CAR, Madagascar, Lesotho,etc even Comoros is waiting for eagles fixture to confirm their superiority to get promoted to 1st best team in Africa fifa rank having flog Ghana twice.
    It better now for nff to go back to study those things done between 1988 to 1996 by the NFA as requirements to get eagles a solid team

    • I don’t see this as the main reason, we need a good GK and get ndidi back from injury, I dnt even see peseiro 442 or 424 as the reason here as well bcos this team creat multiple chances even against Portugal, yea peseiro is not the best but we shd allow him do his job at least till after AFCON .

  • Don’t mention Sunday Olishe at all… Can you remember what he did to Vincent Enyeama?! In terms of paper qualifications, he is qualified to coach Super Eagles.. but in terms of team and human management, Olishe had proved he is a novice! By temperament, he is a Colleric ( dominant director)…he is to bossy for the team! I like him, but he has these serious weaknesses in not been able to know how to effectively manage each player and his emotions..! Olise has anger management problem! Too hot tempered…

  • Glory 5 months ago

    Nigeria will not only qualify for the world cup but also WIN next year’s AFCON with PESEIRO, as long as he does not foolishly go on to rely on Uzoho. With that two weeks preparation before AFCON where he will have the chance to plug loop holes like goal keeper department, midfield, etc, SE will be ready to go.
    There is something negative going on about Uzoho which is even reflecting on his club career and that thing permeate the entire SE team when he is in goal. He sure do need support, prayers and cleansing. It also might just be his cycle of 5s and should that be the case, he will be better off staying off the limelight and quietly continue to work really hard while this cycle run it’s course to complete it’s purpose. Then he will surely come out much stronger, better and well on top. IT WILL SURELY BE MORE DAMAGING FOR HIM TO COME NEAR THE NATIONAL TEAM PRESENTLY.

  • @Sportradio.., John-1 and Tony and others that all believe that adding home based to the team is our solution, I have questions for you. Name the home base players you have on mind and name the current player(s) they’ll all replace. If you have non in your head now , then please keep your mouth shut.
    None of the best we have in the team has played CAF club championship , Osimhen, Iwobi, Indidi, Iheanacho have never played naija league so . The best we have are in Europe wether you all like it or not. More foreign born will come in.
    If it’s so sure for the so called home based stars, let them put more effort, foreign clubs are everywhere now, they’ll see them.

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