As the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup enters the Semi-final stage today, SportsRation correspondent Nsikakabasi Akpan in this article tips Nigeria to make the next World Cup Semi’s.
That is IF the condition’s to be outlined in this article are in place. This will be a major surprise considering the World’s most populus black nation failed to qualify for the 2022 edition.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will happen in 4-years and this time, they will be more slots in the first ever 48 team World Cup. That is in the future.
In the present, Argentina and Croatia will kick-start 2022 FIFA World Cup Semi-final hostilities on Tuesday December 13, before surprise package Morroco face France on Wednesday.
ROAD TO 2026
With the 2022 FIFA World Cup approaching it’s climax, Nigeria and the rest of the World will turn attention to the 23rd edition in 2026.
At the moment, FIFA has not released the Qualification calendar for the next edition.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be co-hosted by three countries, The United States of America, Canada and Mexico.
The African continent like other Confederations will have an increase in number of participants, a move that will make the Road to 2026 less difficult for the Eagles .
All things being equal, Nigeria should return to the World’s grandest footballing event in 2026 and for me, replicating Morroco’s Semi-final run yet is possible for the Eagles IF…
A 4-YEAR FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT PLAN IS INITIATED AND IMPLEMENTED
The lack of vision and drive in administration of football in Nigeria has been one of the country’s major limitations.
For every successful footballing nation, there must be a well outlined football development plan that will cause massive investment in facilities, intensive talent discovery and development, training and retraining of personnel, introduction of innovations that will make representing the country a thing of pride.
Success at the World Cup doesn’t come by luck, the Federation’s are the foundation on which footballers draw motivation to aim for success.
The 4-year football development plan will disrupt the old mentality order to make for bigger dreams.
That way, Nigeria’s pool of talented players will dorn the green white green jersey with pride and hunger to win against any opposition.
FUNCTIONAL AND COMPETITIVE FOOTBALL LEAGUES
A functional and competitive football league structure will boost the chances of a World Cup Semi-final place for Nigeria.
The Nigeria Professional Football League and the other tiers of football must be made to work .
That way, Nigerian clubs will excel on the continent and create the success-filled environment just like the Moroccans arrived Qatar with following dominance of all CAF club competitions by their clubs.
Aside the never-ending calls for the inclusion of home based players in the Nigeria Super Eagles team, a functional league will push the foreign based players who are the crux of the team to be more committed.
Yes! If you don’t play well, coaches will have a pool of home based lads to take your place.
IMPROVED ATTENTION TO PLAYERS AND STAFF WELFARE
Footballers tend to give their all when assured of their entitlements.
That is why, many Super Eagles players are often accused of not doing enough with the national team but play their lives out when representing their respective clubs.
The Nigeria Football Federation must pay attention to the welfare of the players, coaches and support staff to have them happy and focused during international assignments.
A COACH WITH A WINNING MENTALITY
Most times, players look out to the coaches for inspiration to achieve success on the turf.
Nigeria must endeavor to get a coaching crew that inspires success.
Yes, it is still early days for current manager Jose Paseiro but from the early signs, the Portuguese manager does not have the spark to inspire success from his charges.
Aside the goalkeeping department, Nigeria is blessed with a pool of talented players in every department.
In a like for like comparison with the quality of players in Morroco’s historic World Cup Semi-final run, the Eagles will hold their head high.
The Victor Osimhen’s, Alex Iwobi’s, Wilfred Ndidi, Moses Simon etc will excel in Morrocan colours.
What the players need is the right motivation and spark to give their best while representing the country.
If only the Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau led Nigeria Football Federation can study and replicate the vision of the Morocco Football Federation, the Eagles can hold their own against the World.
Throwback to the glory days of the Eagles 1993-1996. A return to the foundation that brought success at the 1994 AFCON and World Cup will give Nigeria a good chance of a dream 2026 FIFA World Cup run.