Former president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick has expressed his regret over Nigeria's failure to qualify for the ongoing Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Former NFF president Ammaju Pinnick reveals his World Cup wish for Nigeria
The former Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) president has revealed what would have happened if Nigeria had qualified for the World Cup.
Nigeria failed to qualify for the biggest sporting event in the world after failing to beat Ghana in the final playoff clash in March.
The Super Eagles met their West African rivals in a two-legged playoff clash in March. The first leg ended goalless in Kumasi before both sides played out a 1-1 draw in the return leg in Abuja, meaning the Black Stars progressed on away goals rule at the expense of Nigeria.
This would have been Nigeria's World Cup - Pinnick
Pinnick was still the NFF president when the match took place, but he has yet to get over the disappointment. The 52-year-old football administration expressed his regret over Nigeria's failure to qualify as the team would have lit up the tournament.
Pinnick, who is a member of the FIFA Executive Council, says Victor Osimhen would have been like Maradona in 1986 had Nigeria qualified.
"This [Qatar 2022] could have been Nigeria's World Cup," Pinnick said on Arise TV.
"Osimhen would have been like Maradona in 1986 in that World Cup.
The former NFF president then went on to say that he hopes the Super Eagles become the first African team to win the World Cup.
Pinnick hoping the Super Eagles World Cup wish
"Like I told the African teams [like Senegal and Morocco], we want an African team to win it [ the World Cup], but if you people don't, Nigeria will be the first to win it, maybe in the next World Cup," he continued.
"When they are playing on the field, I take them as Nigerian. And again, I will apologize to Nigerians, and I take responsibility as the then president of the Federation, but I believe we have gone beyond that now," Pinnick added.
The Super Eagles have played their last match this year, but they will resume their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign next March.
With the 2026 World Cup just over three years away, the three-time African champions do not have to wait long before another qualifying campaign starts.