Surprise as Super Eagles players sings old anthem in Benin Republic

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Cotonou, June 10, 2024 — In a notable deviation from the recent changes in national protocol, the Super Eagles of Nigeria sang the ‘Arise O Compatriots’ anthem at the start of their fourth-round World Cup Qualifier match against Benin Republic on Monday.

This comes despite the recent reinstatement of the old anthem ‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee.’

Observers at the match noted the players’ choice to sing the now-superseded anthem. This act stands in contrast to the new legislation signed into law by President Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2024. The National Anthem Bill 2024 reintroduced ‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee,’ replacing the anthem ‘Arise O Compatriots,’ which has been in use for several decades.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio disclosed the reinstatement during a joint plenary attended by President Tinubu. The bill swiftly passed through both the Senate and the House of Representatives, signaling a significant cultural shift.

In the match against Benin Republic, head coach Finidi George made strategic decisions for the lineup, naming Terem Moffi and Ademola Lookman to lead the attack, while Victor Boniface started on the bench.

The game and the anthem’s choice mark a poignant moment in Nigeria’s sporting and cultural landscape, reflecting the ongoing adjustments to national symbols and traditions.

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