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FACT CHECK: Did Ahmed Musa make 100th appearance for Super Eagles against Cape Verde?

FACT CHECK: Did Ahmed Musa make 100th appearance for Super Eagles against Cape Verde?
September 08
13:28 2021

On Tuesday, Amaju Pinnick, president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), claimed that Ahmed Musa, Super Eagles captain, has played his 100th game for the national team. 

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Speaking with the team in the dressing room after the World Cup qualification win at the Estádio Municipal Adérito Sena in Mindelo, Cape Verde, Pinnick announced that any player who marks the 100th cap would get N10 million.

“First of all, I want you to put your hands together for our captain, Ahmed Musa,” the NFF president announced.

“Today, he marks his 100th cap for the Super Eagles. It’s not an easy feat, and on behalf of the Nigerian football federation, from today, once your mark your 100th cap, you get 10 million Naira.”

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Then Pinnick turned to Musa: “You’re going to get your 10 million once we get to Lagos.”

The player also shared the claim on his social media page to celebrate himself.

“I can’t keep calm as we keep winning. Thanks to my family, my teammates, fans, and not forgetting the NFF. I want to specially mention it’s my 100th cap for the team as well. It’s an absolute honour and privilege to serve in this capacity. All of these wouldn’t have been possible without you guys as there is no ‘I’ in team,” Musa wrote on his Instagram page.

IS THIS TRUE?

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Musa made his debut for the national team when he came in as a substitute during a 2-0 win over Madagascar in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

According to FIFA, Musa has not made the 100th appearance for the national senior side just yet. Findings show that the list of games the NFF used in making its conclusion includes two games that have since been expunged from the FIFA record.

The first game was an unofficial friendly against Togo on June 1, 2017, in Paris, in which the Super Eagles won 3-0 with Musa scoring twice before he was substituted for Victor Osimhen.

Gernot Rohr, Super Eagle’s coach, also made nine substitutions in that encounter, which confirmed the fixture was below a FIFA-certified Grade A friendly match.

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The second game was Russia 2018 World Cup qualification match against Algeria on November 10, 2017.

Super Eagles inexplicably fielded Shehu Abdullahi, who had been suspended for the game following an accumulation of yellow cards, and FIFA sanctioned Nigeria for the mistake.

The NFF was fined the sum of CHF 6,000 (N2,162, 923) and the match was forfeited, with Algeria awarded a 3-0 win despite the game ending in 1-1.

VERDICT

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NFF remains a subsidiary of FIFA, meaning the Zurich-based body holds the ultimate say on players statistics. Nigeria’s victory over Cape Verde, on Tuesday, was Musa’s 98th and not 100th appearance for the Super Eagles. The NFF president’s claim is inaccurate.



This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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