The vice-captain of the Nigeria national team William Troost Ekong has offered an apology on behalf of the Super Eagles following their inability to qualify for the 2022 World Cup billed for Qatar.
Ekong in a post on his Facebook page said the Eagles gave all they could to beat the Black Stars of Ghana to the World Cup ticket but it was not meant to be.
After falling behind to a Thomas Partey shot in the 11th minute, Ekong fired the Super Eagles level from the penalty spot moments after.
However, hard as the Eagles tried to get another goal that would put them in front in the race to Qatar, they were unsuccessful; thus conceding the ticket to the Black Stars who pulled through on the away goals rule.
Ekong wrote: “To all Nigerians, on behalf of the team, we want to apologise for not securing the World Cup ticket.
“Despite giving it everything possible, it wasn’t meant to be.
“First and foremost, as Nigerians, we share your emotions and we take our responsibility as a group.
“We sincerely thank the Nigerian fans for their overwhelming support, the NFF President who did everything possible to make the qualification happen, and of course the Minister.”
While describing the unsuccessful attempt at qualifying for the World Cup as a bitter pill, Ekong assured the Eagles will be back and better.
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“A bitter pill to swallow but believe me we will be back better and stronger!”
This is the second time Nigeria is failing to qualify for the World Cup four times in a row.
After making its debut in USA 1994, the Super Eagles qualified for France 1998 and Japan/Korea 2002 but failed to make it to Germany 2006.
In a similar manner, after qualifying for South Africa in 2010, Nigeria made it to Brazil in 2014 and Russia in 2018 but failed to make it now to Qatar in 2022.
With World Cup action out of the way, the Super Eagles will be faced with not just qualifying for the next Africa Cup of Nations to be staged in Cote d’ Ivoire next year but also winning it to assuage the fans whose confidence in the team has been battered.
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