The Super Eagles journey to the 2022 World Cup begins today in Lagos when they welcome the Lone Star of Liberia.
The general expectation is that they will beat Liberia, who are ranked 150th in the world as against the 34th position of Nigeria, to set the tone for another victory in Cape Verde.
All hands appear to be on the deck to ensure Nigeria eventually make it all the way to their seventh World Cup finals.
A top official was dispatched to spy on the Eagles future opponents Cape Verde and Central African Republic as they played out a 1-1 draw in Cameroon.
Money problems that are known to have derailed qualification for major tournaments are believed to have been sorted out with new sponsorship deals announced this week as well as meeting between the NFF and senior players.
But qualification will still not be as easy as it sounds because football has become a lot more competitive across Africa these days.
SCORENigeria therefore calls on all well-meaning Nigerians to come together to make sure that by March 2022, the Super Eagles book their ticket to Qatar 2022.
Besides the World Cup qualifiers, next year’s AFCON in Cameroon will also be crucial in the country’s qualification to Qatar 2022.
A poor outing at Cameroon 2021 will affect the Super Eagles FIFA ranking, which will be employed to draw the final World Cup playoffs.
It will also adversely affect team confidence as well as public support.
It is therefore crucial that the games at the AFCON are taken as seriously as the World Cup qualifiers.
It is encouraging that coach Gernot Rohr has opened up his squad with invitation of several new players like Malmo midfielder Innocent Bonke and Kingsley Michael from Bologna.
In the coming months, we also expect him to take a closer look at players like Arnaut Danjuma (Villarreal), Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin), Alhassan Yusuf (Antwerp), Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), among several others who have been knocking on the door.
This can only make the team a lot more competitive.
And after qualification, SCORENigeria will expect another united effort to ensure the Super Eagles reach the knockout rounds in Qatar since Nigeria last achieved this in 2014.