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Super Eagles Advised to Mime National Anthem Ahead of World Cup Qualifier

Players of the Super Eagles have been advised to mime the newly reintroduced National Anthem rather than worry about singing it during the CAF World Cup qualifying match against South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on June 7.

This advice came from concerned Nigerians in response to a Facebook post by former Nigeria goalkeeper Peterside Idah, who expressed concern about the players’ ability to sing the old anthem, which the federal government reinstated on May 29 following approval by the National Assembly.

“I hope these Super Eagles players will not disgrace us while the National Anthem is being played,” said the former Enyimba shot-stopper, pastor, and football analyst.

The post sparked numerous comments, including one from former Nigerian forward and Shooting Stars Sports Club general manager Dimeji Lawal, who suggested the players simply mime the anthem.

“The microphone will not be in their hands; all they need to do is mime.

Milli Vanilli sold lots of albums in the 80s without even knowing the lyrics; the singer is always somewhere behind the scenes… Power of technology,” Lawal remarked.

John Atoyebi agreed, writing, “They will fold their hands, stay mute, and look up like some of our foreign-based 1994 players did. There’s no problem in being quiet unless you know the lyrics. Even some England players do it, not because they don’t know the anthem but to stay calm ahead of the big assignment.”

Frustrated by the government’s mandate amid other pressing issues, Olajide Flora commented, “Nobody should blame them if they can’t recite the anthem; I bet Tinubu himself doesn’t know how to sing it.”Jarias Leonard added, “Let Tinubu himself sing it after any broadcast.”Njoju Nnadozie noted, “The Eagles will remain mute while the trumpet plays the anthem.”

Kingsley Okoro questioned the necessity of singing along, writing, “Do they even need to sing along? I don’t think so, considering the people who signed it into law likely can’t recite the anthem.”

Most Nigerian internationals were not born when the old anthem was in use during the 1960s and 1970s before the current anthem was introduced. Some players have been trying to learn the reintroduced anthem, with Super Falcons captain and Atletico Madrid forward Rasheedat Ajide recently attempting to sing it in a video on her Instagram page.

The Super Eagles aim to revive their 2026 World Cup qualification hopes against Bafana Bafana in Uyo, followed by a match against Benin Republic at Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan four days later.After two rounds of games, Nigeria is third in Group A with two points, behind Rwanda and South Africa with four and three points, respectively.

Nigeria reached the AFCON final, defeating South Africa in the semi-finals before losing to the hosts. In March friendlies, Rwanda drew with Botswana and defeated Madagascar; Lesotho registered one win, one draw, and two losses; Zimbabwe defeated Zambia and lost to Kenya; and Benin drew with Côte d’Ivoire and lost to Senegal.

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