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Nigeria’s Super Eagles gear up for historic 20th appearance



  • Nigeria will participate in its 20th  African Cup of Nations
  • The Super Eagles are in Group A with Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea Bissau
  • Quarter finalist at Cameroon 2021, Nigeria aims for the title

With a rich history that includes three championships, Nigeria is set to participate in the  Africa Cup of Nations for the 20th time.

The Super Eagles, known for their prowess, arrive in Côte d’Ivoire armed with formidable arguments, particularly on the offensive front, boasting talents such as Victor Boniface, Terem Moffi, Moses Simon, and Victor Osimhen.

Nigeria’s Group A Fixtures:

– January 14, 2024: Nigeria vs. Equatorial Guinea, 2:00 p.m. GMT, Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpé

– January 18, 2024: Ivory Coast vs. Nigeria, 4:00 p.m. GMT, Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpé

– January 22, 2024: Guinea-Bissau vs. Nigeria, 5:00 p.m. GMT, Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan


Qualification Path:

Securing 15 points, the Super Eagles dominated Group A of the qualifiers, finishing ahead of Guinea Bissau,  the only team to defeat Nigeria during this phase.

Player to Watch: Victor Osimhen

Victor Osimhen, the top scorer in the  Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023, qualifiers with 10 goals, is undoubtedly the player to keep a close eye on throughout the competition.

Named the best male footballer player at the recent CAF Awards, the Lagos native embarks on his third AFCON campaign, describing it as the tournament of maturity.


Osimhen’s key asset lies in his exceptional speed with the ball, enabling long-range attacks and exploiting spaces left by the opposition.

His distinctive playing style, coupled with clinical finishing, has shone in the Italian championship.

Coach: José Peseiro

Taking charge of the Nigerian national team in 2022, Portuguese tactician Jose Peseiro will be working in Africa’s flagship tournament for the first time.

A UEFA Cup finalist in 2005 with Braga, the 63-year-old is a pragmatic strategist.


Peseiro’s tactical approach draws inspiration from his playing days at Torreense club, advocating possession-based football with an offensive objective.

Emphasizing intense and immediate counter-pressing when possession is lost, Peseiro’s coaching philosophy aligns with the dynamic style embraced by his squad.

Nigeria’s AFCON Achievements 

  • 1976: Bronze Medalist
  • 1978: Bronze Medalist
  • 1980: Winner
  • 1984: Finalist
  • 1988: Finalist
  • 1990: Finalist
  • 1992: Bronze Medalist
  • 1994: Winner
  • 2000: Finalist
  • 2002: Bronze Medalist
  • 2004: Bronze Medalist
  • 2010: Bronze Medalist
  • 2013: Winner
  • 2019: Bronze Medalist


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.


Rohr roars warning to Benin; Nigeria, Rwanda will not be easy




Former Nigeria manager, Gernot Rohr now handling Benin Republic has warned The Cheetahs of Benin not to expect an easy match when the team meet Rwanda and Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this month.

 Last month, he led his team to defeat both Rwanda and Nigeria in World Cup qualifying duels in Abidjan, where Benin Republic are compelled to play their home matches following inadequate facilities at home.

 Benin’s 1-0 defeat of Rwanda was Rohr’s first victory with the team. Days later, he followed up with a 2-1 defeat of Nigeria, the first Benin Republic victory in over 65 years.

 Those wins have put Benin in the frame of possible qualification for the World Cup. They are now to meet Nigeria and Rwanda again in World Cup qualifiers.


 It won’t be easy, remarked Rohr.  Hear the Franco-German as he spoke in French but translated into English for the Sports Village Square: “From September we will play against Nigeria before facing Libya and Rwanda.  

“These are three difficult opponents.  We had already played Rwanda and Nigeria but be careful, it’s not because we won Rwanda and Nigeria that it will be easy matches.

“ We know that it is possible to achieve good performances again.  We know that Nigeria with its great players will want to take revenge against us.

“ I think it will probably be an interesting match in Uyo before continuing against Libya.  I suppose in Abidjan because in September the Mathieu Kerekou friendship stadium  will not be ready.  

“Everything will be decided in three months in September, October and November.  It’s a difficult group but it’s playable.  


“You have to finish in the top two.  We had a team that is becoming solid, where the players are like brothers, accomplices.  I hope we will recover the players who were absent.  We are confident.”

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Coaches react after intriguing Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers Draw



The journey towards qualification to the  Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2025 shifted a gear higher on Thursday, after CAF officially conducted the draw of the qualifiers in Johannesburg South Africa.

A total of 48 nations will vie for the 24 places that will contests the 35th edition of Africa’s most prestigious competition.

This is what some of the coaches has to say in reaction to the draw outcomes.

Emerse Fae, Cote d’Ivoire coach

“I am satisfied because we are going to play against Zambia, a team that we know very well. In our last qualifying campaign, we lost against them. We know what mistakes to avoid.


“I am also satisfied because I did not want to have countries geographically far from Cote d’Ivoire which will lessen the travel load. That said, in Africa, there are no longer small teams. All the teams will want to challenge us because we are the reigning champions”

Leslie Notši

“The draw is very interesting because when you have the host in your group, it means they qualify automatically for the tournament, and you have to double your efforts to secure the remaining qualification spot which will be contested by the three other teams in the group.

“We will work very hard to see to it that we are competitive side and try as much as we can to get maximum points in matches against countries that are with us in our group. It will be very important to do well in our home games and I know all eyes will be on “Morocco as the hosts and a powerhouse in our group. We will draw inspiration from recent games where we played the likes of Nigeria as well as Cote d’voire and were able to frustrate them”

Amir Abdou, Mauritania Coach


“Quite a complicated draw. Egypt will be the big contender for qualification. They have a good track record that speaks volumes.

“Seven times African champions – that’s no small thing. We also have Cape Verde who eliminated us during the last AFCON.

“This team is made up of many quality players. We have Botswana, they are having a good qualifying campaign for the World Cup. We have a pretty strong group. It’s up to us to believe in ourselves. We will do everything we can to achieve our fourth participation in the AFCON”.

Kévin Nicaise, Chad coach

 “We are already having the reigning African champions facing the last qualified team in the FIFA rankings. These will definitely be very difficult matches played at high intensity. We will fight to defend our nation’s pride. The group remains relatively open, and we will approach these qualifications with humility and ambition”.


 Badou Zaki, Niger coach

“We have every chance of qualifying. For me, Ghana is a football country with a team that is blessed with great professionals. But this is not the team of 5 or 6 years ago. Even at home, they can lose.

“Angola had a good showing at the last AFCON with their beautiful, modern and fast football. It’s a team that shook up the big teams in Cote d’Ivoire.

“I know Sudan very well. They are first in their World Cup qualifying group. They are going to be dangerous, but we know our strengths and we know we can go far”


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BREAKING! Nigeria to begin 2025 Afcon qualifiers with away duel against Libya




The Super Eagles will begin their quest for qualification for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations with an away match with Libya. On the same day, Rwanda will host Benin Republic. Both teams met last month in Abidjan in the qualifying series for the 2026 World Cup.

 Even though the groups for the Afcon 2025 qualifiers were drawn, CAF did not immediately release the match fixtures. Sports Village Square has gathered that the top seeded teams of the groups will be away to the third ranked teams while the fourth ranked host the second ranked.

  That same format will be applied to the remaining groups. In Match Day 2, Benin Republic will host the Super Eagles in a grudge-laden duel. Benin last month inflicted their first ever defeat on Nigeria since November 1959.

The Benin team is being handled by former Nigeria manager, Gernot Rohr.


Nigeria last met Libya in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. The Super Eagles won the match played in Sfax Tunisia 3-2 to follow up an earlier 4-0 win.

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