The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has laid out its plans, using the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe as a foundation for the Super Eagles’ preparation for the 2024 African Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire. The team’s camp for the World Cup qualifiers began in Uyo, and players are expected to join today in readiness for the first game against Lesotho.
The NFF released a program detailing the team’s activities. Full training is set to start at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, which will also host the match. The Lesotho team is scheduled to arrive in Nigeria today via a Kenyan Airways flight and will stay overnight in Lagos before traveling to Uyo on Tuesday, where they will lodge at the Ibom Hotel and Resorts.
The match officials, including a team of Tunisian referees, are also expected to arrive in Uyo on Tuesday ahead of the Thursday game.
The NFF Secretary General, Mohammed Sanusi, has assured Nigerians that the federation has provided all necessary support for the Super Eagles to secure the World Cup ticket and perform well at the 2024 African Cup of Nations. The goal is to begin on a strong note by winning the World Cup qualifier against Lesotho and then proceed to Rwanda to play against Zimbabwe.
Interestingly, Zimbabwe has designated Rwanda as its home for these qualifiers as there’s currently no suitable stadium in Zimbabwe to host the FIFA World Cup qualifying games.
Sanusi also emphasized that these upcoming games against Lesotho and Zimbabwe are not only about the World Cup but are also vital in gearing up the Eagles for a competitive spirit as they prepare for the 2024 AFCON.
In essence, the team is not only focused on the immediate World Cup qualifiers but is using these games to build the team’s competitive edge for future tournaments, such as the AFCON scheduled to kick off early next year in Cote d’Ivoire.