The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Sen. John Owan Enoh, revealed that Nigeria’s President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, told him he was not impressed with the Super Eagles' performance in their final Africa Cup of Nations Group A encounter against the Wild Dogs of Guinea-Bissau on Monday.
Enoh conveyed this message during a Zoom meeting with the Super Eagles players and coaches on Wednesday, ahead of Nigeria’s round of 16 clash against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
Nigeria secured a 1-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau, finishing second in Group A behind leaders Equatorial Guinea. Enoh shared insights from his meeting with President Tinubu, stating, “One of the main reasons I called you is the chance I had to meet with Mr President yesterday. I went to the Villa for something else, and the president cornered me, saying, ‘We managed to qualify [for the Round of 16].’ I replied, ‘Your Excellency, that is how we will be going until we win the tournament.’ He said, ‘Tell our players I wasn't too impressed in our last match, but I know that now that they are off the Group stages, they are going to impress me more and more.’ That is what the president told me,” Enoh said.
Enoh emphasized that the president is actively watching the matches, urging and expressing confidence that, despite the consciousness at the Group stages, the Super Eagles will become more impressive from the Round of 16 onwards.
He drew a parallel to Egypt's performance in the 2022 tournament, where they struggled to qualify in the Group stages but reached the finals, recalling Nigeria's victory against Egypt in the Group stage and highlighting Kelechi Iheanacho's superlative goal.
Enoh also conveyed the positive mood back home, emphasizing that every Nigerian is rooting for the team and believes they can replicate past successes. He concluded by referencing the slogan of the NFF, indicating strong support and confidence in the Super Eagles' abilities.