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Super Eagles can reach semifinal at 2026 World Cup, says MTN’s Ebueku

By Gowon Akpodonor
26 April 2022   |   4:03 am
Despite failing to qualify for Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Super Eagles have been tipped as one of the semifinalists at the 2026 edition of the Copa Mundial.

Despite failing to qualify for Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Super Eagles have been tipped as one of the semifinalists at the 2026 edition of the Copa Mundial.

Senior Manager, Sponsorship and Promotions at MTN Nigeria, Osaze Ebueku, told The Guardian shortly before the kickoff of the on-going MTN/NPFL/La Liga U-15 football tournament at Remo, Ikenne, Ogun State that the Super Eagles would be among the semifinalists in 2026 World Cup because Nigeria has young talents capable of turning the team into a world beater by then.

Three North American countries, Canada, Mexico and United States, will jointly host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The tournament to hold in 16 cities will be the first to include 48 teams, expanded from 32.

In 2021, MTN Nigeria signed a partnership agreement with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), making the company the official communications partner of the Super Eagles and other national teams.

The partnership sees MTN execute several exciting activities around the nation’s football.

On Thursday, in Ikenne, MTN Nigeria, the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and La Liga, the men’s top professional football division of the Spanish football league system, announced a partnership to support the development of grassroots football in Nigeria, through the establishment of the NPFL/La Liga U-15 Youth League.

The partnership will ensure the continuous local and international exposure for Nigerian youth football, capacity building for players and coaching talents, which ultimately contribute to the advancement of developmental football in the country.

According to Ebueku, the partnership between MTN, NPFL and La Liga at the youth level will give birth to unprecedented number of talented footballers at the senior level within a short period.

“With this kind of tournament now in place, I can boldly say that our dear Super Eagles can make it to the semifinal at the 2026 World Cup.

“All we need do now as a football nation is monitor these young players and give them the king of motivation they need to excel in their football career because this tournament will create an opportunity to grow grassroots football in Nigeria,” he said.

The NPFL/La Liga U-15 youth league, which started in 2017, has seen some of the players who participated in the first and second editions, play and captain the U-17 national team and the U-20 national team. Others ply their trades abroad.

One of the players, Akin Amoo, who was part of the class of 2017, made the Super Eagles squad against the Black Stars of Ghana in the 2022 World Cup play-off, which Nigeria lost.