2026 WCQ: Finidi George defends Boniface snub in South Africa draw

2026 WCQ: Finidi George defends Boniface snub in South Africa draw

Nigeria head coach Finidi George has defended the tactical omission of Victor Boniface in the 1-1 draw against South Africa on Friday.

Boniface was an unused substitute in the 2026 World Cup qualifying match in Uyo with Paul Onuachu handed a rare start to lead the Super Eagles attack while Terem Moffi was brought on later in the game.

Fisayo Dele-Bashiru’s strike in the 47th minute cancelled out Themba Zwane’s opener for South Africa as Nigeria picked up their third draw after three matches in Group C.

Boniface helped Bayer Leverkusen to win the German Bundesliga and German Cup with his contribution of 21 goals across all competitions.

When asked about Boniface’s no-show, Finidi George said: “It was a tactical decision, we thought about bringing him in and he was supposed to come in but when we had Ajayi complain about a knock and could not continue, we had to reverse that decision.

“We have another game, definitely if he is up and doing, he is going to play. For me, it is what you can give to me on the field because everybody wants one player or the other to play but at the end of the day if the player does not play, the media will be shouting.”

“Let us do our job, we know who is good to go. We have another game and definitely we will see how we can play these guys.”

After the disappointing home draw in Uyo on Friday, Nigeria have a chance to make amends when they visit Benin Republic in Abidjan on Monday as the hunt for their first win continues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top Stories