Former Nigeria international Yakubu Aiyegbeni, believes Ghana does not have anything to lose if the Black Stars miss the 2022 World Cup.
Ghana and Nigeria share fierce football rivalry which is set to be revisited, with the Black Stars and Super Eagles locked in battle for one of five tickets to Qatar later this year.
Despite four other qualifiers earmarked, the tie nicknamed ‘the jollof derby’ has overshadowed all, even with other headlines such as Egypt versus Senegal.
Aiyegbeni, who is Nigeria’s third-time top goal scorer, is of the view that between the two, the Super Eagles need to be in Qatar as they have a bigger football pedigree then the Black Stars.
“No one will feel good, everyone will feel bad and be upset about not going to the World Cup. Also, this is the last chance for most of the boys in the Nigerian team to play in the World Cup, it will never come so they have to go there and give in their best. We don’t want to be thinking about not going to the World Cup, we’re thinking of we are going to be in Qatar already.
“I know how the Ghanaians are feelings, they want to be in the World Cup as well but for Nigerians, our dream is to go there, to support them. Just imagine Nigeria not qualifying for the World Cup. If Ghana don’t qualify for the World Cup it’s not a big deal but Nigeria not qualifying is a big deal,” Aiyegbeni said to JoySports.
The first leg of the tie will be the 50th meeting between the two sides. The Black Stars have won 21 of the previous 49, while Nigeria have managed 10 victories.
The Super Eagles will be hosted by the Black Stars at the Baba Yara in Kumasi, before returning the favour at Abuja’s Abiola stadium.