Nigeria is bracing for a reckoning after its World Cup gamble failed to pay off
Nigeria staked everything in World Cup qualification. On the eve of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) fired Gernot Rohr, opting to forego the chance to contend for the title. This was done, supposedly, in favor of the bigger prize of World Cup qualification.
It was evident that the bet had failed when anarchy descended on Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja after the final whistle announced the Super Eagles’ elimination from World Cup qualifying.
Despite poor crowd management making it impossible to enter the stadium, a full house was packed in. They were hoping and expecting to celebrate after the Super Eagles drew 0-0 in Kumasi on Friday. The goalkeepers were the deciding factor.
Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup
A quick Thomas Partey shot beat Francis Uzoho from long range, while Joseph Wollacott saved a Leon Balogun header from point-blank range late in the second half.
As Ghana won the high-stakes match and heads to Qatar with 31 other countries, the Super Eagles must now prepare for the inquisition. In fact, it has already begun and will continue till the NFF elections later this year.
No one turned up for the post-match press conference due to the gloom that had descended at the conclusion. Despite this, the squad bus had not yet left the stadium more than two hours later.