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EXTRA: Old national anthem played at Super Eagles game against Benin Republic

The recently replaced national anthem was played for the Super Eagles during their 2026 World Cup qualification game against the Benin Republic. 

The Eagles are playing the Squirrels of Benin in their fourth qualifier game on Monday at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

During the ceremonial rendition of the competing countries’ national anthem at the beginning of the game, the match organisers opted for Nigeria’s replaced anthem.

The players, however, were seen gleefully reciting the anthem’s tune.

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On May 29, President Bola Tinubu signed a bill reintroducing the old national anthem.

The reintroduced national anthem, initially adopted from 1960 to 1988, used the theme ‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee,’ while the version used from 1978 to early 2024 was titled ‘Arise, O Compatriots.’

The reintroduction of the anthem has been met with mixed reactions, particularly on social media.

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On June 7, the reintroduced anthem was played when Nigeria hosted South Africa for matchday three of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

The match ended 1-1 at the Godswill Akpabio stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom. Fisayo Dele-Bashiru’s second-half strike rescued a point for Nigeria after Bafana Bafana had taken the lead through Thambo Zwane.

The Eagles are fifth in Group C behind Benin, Lesotho, South Africa and Rwanda.

Watch the video of the players reciting the old national anthem here:

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