“How painful it was” – Kasimpasa ace Omeruo wants Super Eagles to erase Qatar 2022 memory with 2026 World Cup ticket

The three-time African champions made their debut appearance at the global showpiece in 1994

Super Eagles defender Kenneth Omeruo has urged his international teammates to pursue the qualifying ticket to the 2026 FIFA World Cup with all seriousness, reports. 

Nigeria failed to qualify for the last edition of the Mundial in Qatar last year, where Morocco became the first African nation to reach the semifinals.

Omeruo was a member of that Super Eagles squad that did well to get to the playoff rounds only to stumble on away goal rule to eternal rivals Ghana.

Nigeria will kick off the qualification campaign for the 2026 World Cup with a clash against Lesotho today.

And Omeruo has charged his colleagues to use the disappointment of missing Qatar 2022 to fuel their ambition to qualify for the next edition.

“Most of us in the team still remember how painful it was not to be part of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar,” the Kasimpasa defender told ESPN. “The memory lingers but then, that is gone. This is a fresh opportunity, and we all want to be at the next one.

“This is a serious matter for us. We are working hard to do what we have to do to get to the next World Cup. We’ve played Lesotho and Zimbabwe in the past.

“The important thing is to stick to our game plan and take the game very seriously because we have to win both games.”

Nigeria have made six appearances at the FIFA World Cup since their debut in 1994. The Super Eagles’ best showing is reaching the Round of 16 three times in 1994, 1998, and 2014.