Former Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh says the team could have won the 1996 and 1998 Africa Cup of Nations if they had participated in both tournaments.
Nigeria boycotted the 1996 AFCON in South Africa after winning the 1994 edition due to political differences between then Head of State Sani Abacha and South Africa president Nelson Mandela.
The Confederation of Africa Football subsequently barred the Eagles from the next edition in 1998.
Speaking with CAFonline, Oliseh said with the momentum after winning the 1994 AFCON, the team could have gone ahead to win the next two editions.
“Though you can never be sure of anything in football but with the type of team we had in 1996, it was most probable that we could have won the AFCON in 1996 and 1998,” Oliseh said.
The Eagles came back to win the silver medal at the 2000 edition co-hosted by Nigeria and Ghana, losing the final on penalties to Cameroon.
Losing the final to Cameroon according to Oliseh was a sad experience.
“I have mixed feelings about the 2000 AFCON because as the host nation, we did our best to get through to the final but it was very sad the way we lost it.
“We not only lost the trophy but it was as if something had been taken away from us. We felt sad because it could have been a wonderful gift to the fans on home soil especially since we had invested so much in the tournament,” Oliseh added.