‘Let us do our job!’ – Finidi blasts Super Eagles fans over Boniface clamour

Nigeria head coach Finidi George has clapped back at fans and journalists who criticised his decision to leave Victor Boniface on the bench during Friday’s 1-1 draw with South Africa in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Despite playing in front of their home fans, Finidi's side couldn’t get the better of the visitors and had to come from behind to snatch a draw, with Fisayo Dele-Bashiru’s second-half strike cancelling out Themba Zwane’s opener.

Nigeria’s starting lineup for the game, however, divided opinion after Finidi picked Paul Onuachu ahead of Victor Boniface for the striking role.

Finidi George explains Boniface’s absence against South Africa

The Bayer Leverkusen forward, who scored 21 goals and provided 10 assists in the recently concluded season, was an unused substitute in Uyo, with Finidi surprisingly bringing on Terem Moffi for Onuachu for the final 10 minutes.

Explaining why he did not give Boniface any minutes against South Africa, the Super Eagles boss hit back at those questioning his decision-making.

'Let us do our job!’ – Finidi blasts Super Eagles fans over Boniface clamour
Photo by Icon Sport

“We thought about bringing him [Boniface] on. He was supposed to come on but we had Ajayi complaining that he couldn’t continue, so we had to reverse that,” Finidi said at a post-match press conference covered by Afrik Foot.

“We have another game, so definitely he’s up and doing so he’s going to play. For me, it’s what you can give to me on the field of play. Everybody wants this player or that player to play but at the end of the day, if the player is not performing, you guys will still be shouting ‘take him off’. Let us do our job, we know who is good to go. We have another game, so definitely we’ll see how we can play these guys.”

Nigeria’s draw against South Africa saw them drop to fifth place in Group C of the CAF World Cup qualifiers. The Super Eagles will, however, be aiming to make amends when they take on Benin away from home in their next qualifying game on Monday.

‘Let us do our job!’ – Finidi blasts Super Eagles fans over Boniface clamour
Emmanuel Ayamga

Emmanuel Ayamga is an Asante Kotoko fan and a passionate sports journalist with a little over five years of experience writing about African football.

His articles and features have been published in renowned news media like The Guardian, DW, Al Jazeera and Sportskeeda. His bylines can also be found in the UK journals World Soccer Magazine and These Football Times.